MAKES 2 DOZEN
It's worth seeking out fresh lard, often carried by butcher shops; it's more flavorful than the supermarket variety.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup lard
1 1/4 tsp. anise seeds
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Put lard and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add anise seeds and egg and beat, stopping mixer once or twice to scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula, until well mixed, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, then gradually add flour mixture, scraping sides of bowl as needed, and beat until dough begins to gather into a ball and comes cleanly away from sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and divide in half, then shape each half into a smooth ball. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside to let rest for 15–20 minutes.
3. Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8". Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter and arrange 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
4. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and sprinkle with reserved cinnamon–sugar mixture while still warm. Repeat process with remaining half of dough.