The recipe for these Austrian-style cookies were shared with my by Chef Michael Smith of the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in Toronto. They have a delicate, buttery texture – despite the fact they contain no butter! Even those who claim to hate the flavour of licorice should be won over by the subtle anise flavour in these cookies. Feel free to experiment with your favourite spices in this recipe! —signe langford
Prepare sheet pans by lining them with parchment or silpat
In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, begin whipping the whole eggs on medium speed (#4) for 1-2 minutes. Once the eggs are foamy, begin to slowly add the sugar with the machine running on medium.
When all of the sugar has been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla, continue whipping on medium-high speed (#6) for approximately 10 minutes. The eggs should be very light in colour and about tripled in volume, but there should be no visibly large air bubbles.
Meanwhile, while the eggs are whipping, sift together the flour, anise, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the whipped eggs, and mix on low speed (#2) for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and mix for 1 more minute on low.
Fit a piping bag with a plain round tip (#802 or #804). Pipe small rounds of batter, about 1.5” in diameter, leaving about 1.5” space in between. Allow the piped cookies to dry for at least 4 hours (but no longer than 8). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325F.
After 4 hours the cookies should feel dry to the touch. If they are still sticky, allow them to dry for at least 1 hour more. Once dry, bake @ 325F for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until they release from the paper. Cool completely and serve. The baked cookies may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days. The cookies may also be frozen for up to 3 months.