Frosty Pain d’Anis Leaves

Temps des Fêtes 2011
food and drink

BY: Christopher St. Onge

These chewy treats layered with delicate licorice flavour are terrific beside a warming cup of coffee. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking powder
4 cups (1 L) cake and pastry flour
3 eggs
3 cups (750 mL) icing sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground anise

1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar, sifted
¼ tsp (1 mL) anise extract
1 tbsp (15 mL) water

1 Combine baking powder and flour in a medium bowl. Reserve.

2 Using a stand mixer or electric beater, beat eggs for 6 to 8 minutes, or until very pale and thick. Slowly add sugar and continue beating until fully blended. With machine still running, add butter in thirds. Beat in salt and ground anise.

3 Reduce speed to low and add 2 cups (500 mL) flour mixture, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time. Stir final 2 cups (500 mL) of flour in by hand and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.

4 Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half. Liberally dust working surface with icing sugar, and working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll out to a ⅛ -inch (3-mm) thickness. Cut dough using small leaf shaped cookie cutters. Place cut dough on cookie sheets and leave to rest, uncovered, for 8 hours, or overnight.

5 Preheat oven to 200°F (100°C).

6 Bake cookies for 1¼ hours, or until firm and dry. Allow to cool completely in pans before removing to a rack to glaze.

7 To make glaze, combine icing sugar, extract and water. Stir until smooth. Using a small pastry or craft brush, brush tops of cookies with a small amount of glaze working outward towards the edges. Arrange in a single layer and allow to dry for 3 to 4 hours, or until completely set.

Makes 6 dozen small cookies