Sunday, December 26, 2010
Anischräbeli (Aniseed Cookies)
Since my previous post was about how much I enjoy Swiss cookies, I thought I'd share my all-time favourite. Anischräbeli. Phonetically it's pronounced "arnis-cra-bell-ee", well close enough, this is the best I could come up with. Anywho, the name is not so important, what is important is this cookie is like no other cookie I have tasted, and certainly nothing like any cookie I can buy where I live. Which is kinda weird, since it's such a simple thing to make (despite how complicated the recipe may appear).
I guess if you don't like aniseed then you might be scared to attempt this recipe, but let me just say I was never a big fan of it either. But the aniseed flavour in these is not overpowering, it just leaves a lovely glow in your mouth. It's not so scary. I should also mention that the cookies are of the hard variety, however, they are supposed to be that way but will also soften in time. You get the best of both worlds. They also store well for ages, so this recipe makes a large batch.
500g icing sugar
1 pinch salt
1 Tbsp kirsch (optional)
1 & 1/2 Tbsp whole aniseeds, or 1/2 tsp aniseed oil
550 - 600g flour
Use a food processor, or mixer, and combine the eggs and sugar until they are pale, fluffy and smooth, this will take about 5-10 minutes. This can also be done by hand with a whisk, but you get better results with a food processor (and it won't give you tennis elbow!).
Add the salt, kirsch and aniseed. Mix well. Knead the dough.
Take some of the dough and use your fingers to roll it out. You want to create a long cylindrical roll that is approx 1.5cm thick. Cut the roll into segments that are 5cm in length.
Make 3 slices halfway through each of them.
Bend them to create this shape:
Place them on a greased or lined oven tray, and continue the process until you have used all of the dough. Leave the trays of cookies to dry overnight (uncovered and at room temperature), or for up to 24 hours.
Bake at 140 Celsius, using the lowest oven rack, for about 20 minutes. You want the bottom to get slightly browned, but the top to stay pale.
Makes approx 95 cookies.