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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: November 29, 2012

Christmas Anise Cookies

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Submitted by Eleanor Marro Chatto

Makes about 2 ½ dozen depending on size of cut-outs.

2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
½ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon anise extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Cream vegetable shortening and sugar using mixer on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, mixing briefly on low between each addition. Add anise extract and mix briefly. Add dry ingredients, one-third at a time, and mix on medium each time.

Turn dough onto floured board and roll to ¼’ thickness, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut out as desired with floured cookie cutter. (We would usually cut diamond shapes with a sharp knife). Re-roll and cut scraps.

Place on cookie sheet and bake about 12 – 14 minutes, or until just starting to be light brown on the bottom edges.

Remove from oven to cooling racks and glaze while warm with the following:

1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
2 ½ tablespoons milk (more or less to achieve desired consistency)
¼ teaspoon anise extract

Dip freshly glazed cookies into colored sprinkles, colored sugar, or other small decorations.

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