Sesame-Anise Melts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup lard, softened (no substitute)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon anise seed, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract*
  • About 1 cup sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat lard, sugar, anise seed and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, blending well after each addition.
  4. Place sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Divide dough in quarters; return all but one portion to refrigerator. With floured hands, roll rounded teaspoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sesame seed coating, all sides. Arrange balls 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten balls to about 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes, or until browned around edges.
  6. Cool on racks.
  7. Store in airtight container at room temperature 10 days, freeze for longer storage.

Store carefully as these cookies are very fragile.

* Variation: Can use 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel and 1 teaspoon lemon extract or a few drops of lemon oil.

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