Alsatian anise cookies

Serge Jost, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

“Christmas cookies are a big deal in the Alsace. A lot of tradition is associated with cookies starting with gingerbread for December 6, St. Nicholas day. What I like the most is the anise cookie, which we always say is the father of the macaron — a crisper, harder cookie not as soft as macaron, and not as big a challenge as the macaron for most people. In Alsace we don’t have cookies with coffee or tea, we have a nice wine, Gewurztraminer. When you eat a cookie, you drink wine; more cookies more wine — around the table eating and drinking. That for me is Christmas cookies.”

  • 500 g sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 600 g flour
  • 25 g anise seed
  • for the baking sheet
  • 20 g butter
  • 10g flour

With a whisk, beat the egg and sugar until the mixture becomes pale yellow in color and falls off the end of the whisk attachment in long ribbons. Add the anise seed and the flour to the beaten egg and fold in gently.

Spread the butter on the baking sheet and flour (or use a sheet of parchment paper).

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip, and pipe 3 cm rounds on the baking sheet. Let it dry overnight.

Preheat oven to 325°F and bake for 10 minutes. Make sure there is no colour on the top.