There's no use lying about whether you've eaten these crisp anise-flavored cookies, called bugie in Italian: the dusting of confectioner's sugar, which inevitably lands on our clothes, will give you away. You'll need a pasta machine to roll the dough as thin as possible.
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2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon aniseeds
1 quart peanut or vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 cups confectioners' sugar
How to Make It
Sift the flour with the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt onto a large sheet of wax paper.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the eggs with the butter, orange juice, brandy, vanilla and aniseeds at low speed until well blended. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat until the dough clumps around the paddle, about 1 minute. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball; flatten slightly. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Keeping the dough well dusted with flour, crank 1 piece of the dough through the widest setting of a pasta machine 3 times. Pass the dough through successively narrower settings until it is almost thin enough to see through. Cut the dough into 2-inch-wide strips, then cut the strips on the diagonal at 2-inch intervals to form diamonds. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
The cookies will keep for up to a week in tightly sealed tins. Pack them loosely between sheets of wax paper that have been dusted with confectioners' sugar. Dust again with confectioners' sugar before serving.
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