My husband’s family were among those who came to America from Germany in the 1880s, bringing their traditions with them.
As Christmas approaches, I plan to share some traditional Texas recipes, so let me begin with Aunt Henriette’s Anise White Cap cookies, the same ones her grandmother made over 135 years ago!
Anise White Caps
1/2 lb. sugar
1/2 lb. flour
3 large eggs
1 tsp. anise seed (pulverized)
Put eggs in large mixing bowl and mix slightly, add sugar gradually, beating well. Add flour gradually, beating well. Add anise. Beat a total of 30 minutes. Drop on greased and floured pans. Let stand over night. Bake in moderately hot over of 325 degrees about 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly brown. Remove from pan immediately and place on cooling rack. Recipe makes 6 dozen.
Words can hardly explain how good these cookies are! Aunt Net weighed her ingredients on a kitchen scale and somehow made each cookie look identical.
I am not so skilled nor so patient. Here’s a recipe I use that results in a very similar-tasting cookie.
1 1/s cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp anise flavoring
Sift flour and baking powder together. Put eggs, sugar, and anise flavoring into a mixing bowl and beat until very thick. Fold in the dry ingredients, adding about 1/2 cup at a time. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto generously greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Set the cookies aside in a cool place (not in refrigerator) for 8 to 10 hours or overnight. Do not cover the cookies and do not disturb them. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Remove to cooling racks. Cookies form a cake-like layer on the bottom with a crisp “frosting” on top. Makes about 4 dozen.
Whichever recipe you use, you’ll want to pick a dry, crisp day to bake these cookies. If you make them on a drizzly day, they’ll taste just as good, but the white caps will not form properly.