Try not to grind the aniseed too finely. A bit of textural contrast ensures that there are pockets of anise flavor in the finished cookies.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground aniseed
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup room temperature vegetable shortening
1 large egg
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
How to Make It
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350° . Line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ground aniseed, baking soda, cream of tartar, baking powder, and salt.
On a large plate, add the 1/3 cup rolling sugar.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl if using a hand-held electric mixer), Add the sugar, butter and vegetable shortening. Beat on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula. Beat in the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in 2 batches, until well combined.
Roll the dough into small balls about 1 inch in diameter by rolling between your hands. Roll balls through prepared rolling sugar; coating evenly. Space the balls at least 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Do not overcrowd, as the cookies expand while baking. Flatten slightly using the bottom of a glass. Bake, rotating baking sheets midway through baking, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve.
The dough can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to two months.
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