With many of our children grown and out of the house, we like to have cookies ready to send home with them when they come for a visit. This week we revisited this classic cookie from Joy of Cooking, but have substituted anise extract for the crushed anise seeds, which makes for a smoother textural experience, a family preference. We also added a pinch of salt, to bring out the lovely flavors of the anise and vanilla.
Don’t make these cookie drops when the humidity level is over 50%, for they do not come out well. Ideally, anise drops will have a soft cookie base with a meringue-like topping.
Make sure you have a space to hold 6 cookie sheets for the 18 hours you leave the cookies to air dry before baking them off. I like to use jelly roll pans as my cookie sheets. These can be stacked without damaging the unbaked anise drops. I stack the pans inside my cold oven to keep the drops clean until I am ready to preheat my oven.
Yield: Around 96 1-inch cookies
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- Cover 6 cookie sheets with foil.
- Sift flour with baking powder and a pinch of salt.
- Beat eggs until light.
- Add sugar gradually. Continue to beat with electric mixer at medium speed for five minutes. Add extracts.
- Fold in dry ingredients. Beat for another five minutes.
- Drop ½ teaspoons of batter well apart on foil-lined cookie sheets. Allow the anise drops to dry at room temperature for 18 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 ° Fahrenheit.
- Bake drops for around 12 minutes or until they begin to color.
- Cool cookies completely, then carefully peel them away from the foil. Store the cookies in an airtight cookie tin for up to one month.