Cocos a l’anis

(Anise-seed cookies)

Makes about 40

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The texture of these cookies, which have no additional fat beside egg yolks, is quite crunchy, like traditional biscotti. The anise seed provides a light licorice flavor and additional crunch. “The thing that makes this a Provencal recipe,” says French Consul General chef Etienne Jaulin. “is the anise seed. If I see a Frenchman drinking pastis [anise-flavored liqueur], I think they must be from the south of France.” This dough is soft and a bit sticky. Instead of rolling it out and stamping rounds, it’s easier to shape little balls and flatten them with the bottom of a glass. The cookies are best eaten within two days. The recipe comes from a cookbook the Fieschi family owns, “Cuisine et recettes en Provence,” by Claire Lhermey.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons anise seed
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
Extra sugar (for dipping)
Extra anise seeds (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl, blend the flour, anise seeds, and salt until the seeds are evenly distributed in the flour.

2. In another bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs to mix them. Add the sugar and continue whisking for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves and the batter turns a slightly paler color.

3. With a rubber spatula gently stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until thoroughly combined. Do not overmix; the dough will be sticky. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the dough, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

4. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Spread enough sugar on a deep plate to make a thin layer. Using a small spoon, scoop up a mound of dough and roll it in your hands into a ball. Drop it into the sugar and roll it around to coat it all over. Transfer to the baking sheets. Sprinkle with anise seeds, then, using a glass dipped repeatedly in the sugar, flatten each cookie.

6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Adapted from “Cuisine et
recettes en Provence”