My wife and I have had a long-running joke about licorice. Following my dad’s good example, I grew up eating and enjoying black licorice. My wife, on the other hand, just can’t imagine how it could be considered edible. When my good friend, Debbie, sent me this recipe, she cautioned you had to be a real licorice lover to enjoy the cookies. I think I proved this not to be true in that Shari really liked them. I think they taste like anise in a very interesting way and not like a licorice stick, at all. The icing makes them.
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
16 tablespoons butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons ground star anise
3 large eggs
½ cup yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche
½ cup milk
1. Heat oven to 375F. Use top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 racks to bake cookies.
2. Cover cookies sheets with parchment.
3. Cream butter and the sugar until fluffy.
4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and star anise.
5. Mix dry ingredients together with a whisk. Stir 1/2 the dry ingredients into the butter mixture to combine.
6. Stir in yogurt to combine.
7. Stir in remainder of dry ingredients to combine.
8. Stir in milk to combine.
9. Drop 2 tablespoon balls of dough onto the prepared pan, leaving 1-2 inches between each one.
10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.
11. Frost with icing, recipe follows:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground star anise
1 pound, approximately, confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with a mixer on low speed to combine.
2. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until aerated and light.
3. Stop the mixer and add about a third of confectioners’ sugar. Beat on low speed until combined.
4. Repeat with the rest of the sugar, adding in two additions.
5. Once all is added, increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy.
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