Oma’s almond anise Christmas cookies were always part of the delicate and simple array that made it into the cookie tin every year that was just for me… and boy was that a coveted tin of cookies! I know over the years I received a vast assortment of presents at Christmastime from my Oma and Opa, but do you think I remember what they are? Nope. Ok, well one year there was this huge, hot pink bean bag chair… but that’s another story. 😉
My point is, when I think back, the gift that stands out the most to me are Oma’s Christmas cookie tins. There was so much love that went into those cookies, so much care in packaging them up, and of course they were always hand delivered so that meant getting a visit with her too. 🙂
Years ago now (before I had this blog) the Christmas cookie tin ritual began to shift as Oma got older and I started to really discover my passion for baking. It wasn’t long before I was the one baking an array of cookies and lovingly packaging them up in tins for everyone in the family.
As my Oma continues her journey through the age of wisdom (she turned 87 this year) I feel the push to perfect these recipes of hers, to lock the technique, scent and taste of them into the deep stores of my mind and to immortalize them here in cyberspace. In them I know her memory and legacy will live on not just in my life but in all of you who try these recipes too.
If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!
Oma's Almond Anise Christmas Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1 large, organic egg
- 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup organic all purpose, unbleached spelt flour (also called white spelt flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp anise seeds
In a the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand held electric beater beat the butter, then add the sugar and beat again until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined.
In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and ground almonds together. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and beat on slow until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto the countertop and finish mixing by hand until the it is combined and smooth. Flatten the dough a little into a thick, round disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come closer to room temperature otherwise it will be very hard to roll out. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of anise seeds evenly onto each baking sheet (feel free to use more or less as your taste buds suggest). Set aside.
Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch on a lightly floured work surface using dustings of flour on top of the dough and on the rolling pin as required. Use a small cookie cutter to make desired shapes. Place cookies about 1/2 inch apart from each other on the baking sheets and gently press each one into the anise seeds. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the edges.
Store in airtight containers or freeze them to keep away from hubby's sweet tooth! 😉