Saturday, January 5, 2008

Cookies - Butterless, anise cookies

I made four batches of anise cookies, the kind one has to dry overnight so that a top or cap forms on them. I used four different recipes that varied by the number of eggs and the use of baking powder. I dried them per the directions overnight or up to 18 hours. None of the cookies developed the traditional tops that remind me of white mushroom caps.

Winter scene in Cleveland's snowbelt

As you can see it is winter in Cleveland and the house could not be too humid for the caps to form. I have no idea why the recipe did not work for me as it has for my mother and my grandmother. Does anyone know the secret to making this self topping cookie? I tried baking on cookie sheets with and without aluminum foil, liners, etc. The cookies were good but capless!

My grandmother would send us these cookies and many of her precious cookies each year in a package that took four weeks to arrive via a voyage over the Atlantic Ocean by ship. I will never forget the wonderful smell when we opened the box. My maternal grandmother lived in the Black Forest and the box had a heavenly smell on opening it. My mother would form perfect little circles and let the dough dry upstairs. I watched with awe as the caps appeared. I would love to recreate this magical cookie, any and all suggestions are most welcome.

I was born in the northern Black Forest.


Maria said...

Sorry that I can't help you on this one. But I can milkless, eggless "war cake" made in the middle of the night recently was on the chewy side. I thought I did everything right. While striving for perfection, we bounce with the bumps in the road (or the lumps in the batter). A lot like life...

Rosa Raskin, M.S., M.L.S. said...

The war cake has a mind of its own, my husband likes "chewy," to cake-like, but I have not been able to make the cake chewy. I always have one available in my refrigerator should my nephew visit, those become "chewy."