Monday, November 2, 2009

Iced Italian Anise "S" Cookies

Ok, I know the title of this post is "Iced Italian Anise "S" Cookies" and that picture above isn't quite an "S" shape! It isn't even close! But, I kind of really liked the cookie in this straight shape and so, that's it. My explaination, plain and simple!
Now, as for the recipe. Well, I have been looking for a good, plain Italian cookie recipe for a while now. I was shopping at a local outlet store that has a pretty decent kitchen department when I came across a Christmas cookbook put out by a very well known cake decorating , food crafting company. So as I flipped through the book I came upon this recipe. Well, I didn't need all the other recipes in the book...just that one! So I jotted it down. Right there in the store! Ok, there, the truth is out!
This wonderful, soft, mild tasting cookie provides a perfect "canvas" for the easy sugar glaze and sprinkles that decorate the top.
The original recipe calls for anise extract and the first time I made them, that's what I used. But I got to thinking that perhaps replacing the anise with orange or lemon flavoring might be interesting, so that's what I did for these. The result is a mild orange flavor. Next time I'll try the lemon flavor. I think that will have more "punch"!
One note: I cannot remember what sort of glaze the original recipe used. ( I actually only wrote down the ingredient list). So, I made up my own.
Beat softened butter and sugar in a standing mixer bowl. Add eggs and extract.

In separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly combine with egg/butter mixture til just incorporated.

The extreme orangey color of my batter is due to the wonderful farm fresh eggs my friend was so kind to give me. Aren't they beautiful?!

On a floured work surface, take out a small handful of dough at a time and roll on the work surface to form long logs about 1" wide.

Tear apart the logs about 3" long and place on prepared baking sheet. ( At this point you can shape into the "S" shape if you like.

Bake and when done, let cool on baking sheet a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, make glaze and decorate with colored sprinkles.

Italian "S" Cookies

(I halved this recipe)

6 cups AP flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter-room temp.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. anise extract ( or sub orange or lemon extract)
6 eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Line sheet with parchment paper.
1.In bowl of standing mixer beat butter and sugar about 2 minutes.
2. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add extract.
3. In a medium bowl, whish flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture and stir til all combined.
5. Lightly flour your work surface and take small handfuls of dough at a time and roll into logs about 1" wide.
6. Tear or cut the pieces into smaller 3" long pieces.
7. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes.( Mine took quite a bit longer. More like 15 - 20 minutes).
8. Let cool on sheet for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Make glaze:
Place about 1 cup of confectioners sugar into a small mixer bowl. Add enough milk to make a smooth fairly thin glaze. Using a teaspoon, place a small amount onto a cooled cookie top and spread with spoon. Immediately decorate with colored sprinkles.
If using orange or lemon, just replace the milk with orange juice or lemon juice. Use just enough to make a thin glaze.

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