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Anise-Citrus Cutout Cookies

New holiday cookie alert! Try these anise-citrus cutout cookies for a new twist on the typical sugar cookie. Cosette Posko ofCosette’s Kitchen created these festive cookies, which are reminiscent of her childhood: “Growing up I could always remember the smell of anise throughout the house, whether it was from cookies or tea—called Yansoon. It’s a smell that evokes a sense of healing and comfort.”

 


Prep & Chill: 45 minutes | Bake: 15 minutes | Serving: 4 dozens

Ingredients

For the cookie dough:
1 pound + 4 tablespoons (4½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar, plus more for rolling
2 large eggs, whisked
Zest of 1 navel orange (or 3 mandarin oranges)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons whole aniseed
2 teaspoons ground anise
½ cup unsalted pistachios, chopped (optional)

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2–3 teaspoons orange blossom water
Pinch of kosher salt
½ teaspoon orange zest
Sprinkles, for decorating

 Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer—like the KitchenAid® Artisan Steel Black Stand Mixer—fitted with a paddle attachment, stir the softened butter and powdered sugar until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high (about 6 on a KitchenAid) and mix for 3–4 minutes until the butter and sugar are light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the orange zest. (The mixture may look curdled—don’t worry about it.) Reduce the speed to stir, add half of the flour and mix until it is combined. Add the rest of the flour along with the baking powder, aniseed and anise; mix until combined. The dough should be relatively thick at this point.

  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and split it in two. Work the pistachios into one of the pieces of dough, if using. Wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap and pop them into the fridge for about 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and place a rack in the middle of the oven.

  4. Remove one ball of dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Dust your work surface (preferably a cold countertop) with a bit of powdered sugar. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about ⅛' thick. Cut out the cookies in festive shapes. Gather the scraps of dough and reroll them (if they are too soft, chill them again). Repeat this step with all of the dough.

  5. Place the cookies on a baking sheet ½'–¾' apart. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 14–17 minutes until the edges and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool before decorating.

  6. In a small bowl, make the glaze by stirring together the powdered sugar, orange blossom water, a pinch of salt and orange zest. The glaze should be thick, but still run off the spoon. Test the glaze by spreading it on one cookie—it should harden after 5–6 minutes. If it doesn’t, add some additional powdered sugar to thicken it. If it’s too thick, add a splash of orange blossom water. The glaze is best used immediately after it is prepared.

  7. Spread the glaze over the cookies and top them with sprinkles.

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