Ruth Beichner of Lucama, N.C., was looking for a recipe for anise cookies similar to the ones that her mother made when she was growing up. The cookies were very thin, melted in your mouth and "tasted oh so very good," she wrote.
Chloe Stevens of Easthampton, Mass., sent in a recipe she had found in Bon Appetit magazine. It is basically a rolled sugar cookie enhanced with toasted aniseeds and brandy.
When I tested the recipe, I added a teaspoon of anise extract just for some added kick. I also recommend allowing the dough to chill for an hour or so before rolling. These cookies keep well when stored in an airtight container and would be a nice addition to a holiday-cookie assortment.
Makes 24 cookies
1/2 teaspoon aniseeds, toasted
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (divided use)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon pure anise extract (optional)
Toast the aniseeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Beat butter and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl until light. Beat in egg yolk, brandy, extract (if using) and aniseeds. Add dry ingredients and beat just until smooth dough forms.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread remaining 2 tablespoons sugar on a small plate. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4 -inch thickness. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out cookies.
Gather scraps, reroll on lightly floured surface and cut out more cookies. Place cookies 1 at a time on sugared plate; transfer cookies, sugar side up, to ungreased baking sheets.
Bake until bottom and edges are golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.
Per serving: 79 calories, 1 gram protein, 4 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, trace fiber, 19 milligrams cholesterol, 37 milligrams sodium
Jane Klebrowski of Parkville is looking for a recipe for a white cream sauce for apple dumplings like the one that her grandmother made more than 50 years ago.
Nancy Schwartz of Petaluma, Calif., is looking for a recipe that her Lithuanian grandmother used to make very large meatballs (3 1/2 inches or more) with a hard-cooked egg in the center.
If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail recipefinder@ baltsun.com. If you send more than one recipe, put each on a separate piece of paper or attachment with your name, address and daytime phone number. Names and addresses must accompany recipes to be published. Letters may be edited for clarity.
The nutrition analyses accompanying recipes in today's Taste section were calculated by registered dietitian Jodie Shield, except where noted.