Mexican Wedding Cookies with Anise: Pastelitas de Boda con Anís

IMG_0278Bizcochitos are anise studded Mexican sugar cookies. I combined this idea with the recipe for  Mexican Wedding Cookies I found in Joy of Cooking. It made a tasty cookie even more delicious. These are a special treat at Christmastime which melts in your mouth with a lovely anise flavor.

Ingredients:

Anise

1 cup shelled pecans

2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 pound), softened

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar plus 1/3 cup for rolling the cookies in

1 Tb vanilla

1 teaspoon anise seeds

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

raosted pecansSpread pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes. Let cool on a plate. Run in food processor until they are in tiny pieces, but not powdery or oily.

whip butterBeat softened butter, add salt, 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar and vanilla on medium speed until it is fluffy. Gradually add pecans and anise, and beat until they are incorporated into the butter mixture.

Sift the flour over the top and slowly beat just until well blended.

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Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll 1 inch balls between your palms and place them on the cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies at 350′ for 12-15 minutes until tinged with golden brown. Rotate the sheet halfway through for even browning.

Place baking sheet on a rack to cool until the cookies begin to firm. Then slide the parchment paper to the rack for cookies to cool completely.

roll in powdered sugarRoll cooled cookies in 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar to coat them.