Whoa, the very last day of cookies! I'm going to finish off our 12 cookie recipes with another family favorite.
I always thought these were Italian cookies because the recipe comes from my mom's Italian family. When I finally asked about it... turns out the recipe is actually Hungarian. Who knew? It's my great-aunt Rose's super-secret recipe that took 27 years for my mom to get out of her. You'd better copy it down before Guido and Mario track me down.
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 oz. anise extract
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2-4 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in milk, anise and baking powder. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough (it should be just not-sticky enough to work with but not so stiff that the cookies are dense and hard). Cover and chill for 1/2 hour.
Take a 2-inch ball of dough and roll it into a long snake (about 10 inches long and as thin as your pinky-finger). Holding the middle of the roll, twist the ends around (not too tight and not too loose). Place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with evaporated milk.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or until just golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Place warm cookies in a plastic bag. The steam will soften the tops and prevent the cookies from being crisp. If you can keep from eating them all, they freeze nicely. I usually make 3 batches at a time and freeze enough to last a while.
I hope you have enjoyed these cookie recipes as much as I've loved sharing them with you. Nothing is better in the winter than a cookie and a warm mug of hot chocolate. Merry Christmas, from my family to yours!