This recipe, from Hungry Sofia blogger Ana Sofia Pelaez, appeared in our 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar. Ana Sofia says: “In our family, everyone remembers these crisp but tender cookies, rumored to come to from Spain to Latin American via an army of grandmothers (and a favorite at my own great-grandmother’s house), a little differently. Made with lightly beaten cream, the cookies are a perfect canvas for wintry spices like anise, cinnamon, and nutmeg, allowing for endless variety and improvisation so that their flavor always surprises.”
- 2¼ cups flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. whole anise seeds, crushed
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ cups heavy cream, chilled
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cups sugar
- 1 egg yolk, mixed with 2 tsp. water for egg wash
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, anise seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, beat cream with a whisk until slightly thickened (it should still be pourable); refrigerate until ready to use. In another bowl, beat sugar and butter on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add beaten cream and zest, and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Transfer to a work surface and shape into a disk; wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat oven to 350°. Transfer dough to a floured work surface, and using a rolling pin, roll until ¼” thick. Using a 1 ½”-wide round cutter, cut out cookies, and place 2″ apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly golden, about 18-20 minutes.