Here's another great recipe we make every Christmas season and it's a huge family hit. Plus it makes oodles of big cookies (5-6 dozen) so it's great to share. Although you can use almonds instead of hazelnuts (AKA filberts) I prefer the hazelnuts just because I have so many other recipes with almonds and like a little variety. Hazelnuts aren't always easy to find but I have had luck at Trader Joe's and in the bulk section of my favorite health food store (which also has the anise seeds in bulk).
You can print out the recipe here (on an 8.5 x 10 sheet), or by clicking on the picture below.
6 eggs at room temperature, separated
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 ½ cups hazelnuts (or almonds)
1 cup butter (melted and cooled)
3 Tbl anise seeds (whole)
Zest of one orange (chopped small)
1 tsp anise extract (or vanilla)
7 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet at 350˚ for 10 minutes, rub briskly in a dish towel to remove peels.
Chop your toasted hazelnuts and zest your orange (I then chop the zest into smaller pieces).
Beat egg whites until stiff, fold in 1 cup + 2 Tbl sugar.
Beat egg yolks w/ remaining sugar until thick and pale yellow (5-6 minutes).
Gently stir both egg mixtures together...
...fold in the nuts, butter, seeds, zest, and extract.
In a separate (large) bowl sift your flour, baking soda and salt together.
You're ready to mix everything together now!
Gradually fold in the egg mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is moistened and there are no spots of dry flour.
Turn your mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just enough to make sure everything is evenly mixed and pliable.
Divide into 6 even parts and roll each part up into an 8 inch cylinder, then flatten down so you have an 8” by 2” rectangle (about ¾ inch high).
Place on a baking sheet (lightly oiled or on parchment paper) at least ¾“ apart and bake for 25 minutes at 375˚.
Remove from oven. Let cool. Slice at a 45˚ angle (each being about ¾” wide). I like to use a bread knife for this part. Lower your oven’s temperature to 325˚ and lay each slice flat on a baking sheet and bake for another 25 minutes.
Enjoy!! Let me know if you try it (and if your family loves it as much as mine!).