Anise Sesame cookies

From the December 2004 issue of Gourmet, these cookies  with a sophisticated flavor are easy to make.


  1. 1 tablespoon whole anise seeds
  2. 2 tablespoons boiling-hot water
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 1/8 teaspoon soda
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. 1 ½ ticks unsalted butter, soften
  7. 2/3 cup sugar
  8. 1 large eggs
  9. ¼ cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  10. 1 large egg + water for egg wash


  1. Soak anise seeds in boiling-hot water until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Measure out flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes with a handheld mixer.
  4. Beat in 1 egg and anise seed/water mixture until combined.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 balls.  Place each ball on a piece of lightly floured wax paper and lightly flour the top of the ball.  Roll the dough to a thickness of between ¼” and 1/8”.  Lightly flour the circle and top with another piece of wax paper.  Place in refrigerator and chill for 3 to 8 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper 

  1. When ready to cut out the cookies, make the egg wash by beating the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and toast the sesame seeds.
  2. Remove the dough circles from the refrigerator. Take off top piece of waxed paper and turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Cut with a 2 ½ “cookie cutter and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.
  3. Using a pastry brush, paint the cookies with the egg wash then sprinkle sesame seeds on them.  Place one of the wax paper pieces on the cookies and press down lightly on the sesame seeds.
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes, until they are lightly golden.  Remove to a cooling rack and store in an airtight container for a week.

Yield:  2 ½ dozen 2 ½” cookies.

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