Place corn husks in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, and soak for at least
Bring 3 cups water and 1 tablespoon aniseed to a boil over high heat. Cook until
reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.
Strain and use 1 cup of anise tea to soak the raisins until softened, about 15
minutes. Set aside the remaining cup of tea.
Beat lard or shortening and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until
light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add tamale dough mixture a little at a time.
When all is added, beat for 3 minutes.
Drain raisins and add to tamale dough mixture. Reserve drained liquid to use
for steaming. Beat for 1 minute. If tamale dough mixture is stiff add 1/4 to 1/2
cup of the reserved anise tea a little at a time while beating. Add remaining aniseed
and salt, and beat until light and fluffy. Fold in pecans.
Drain corn husks. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in each husk,
wrap and steam the tamales (How
to Steam Tamales).
Makes about 20 large or 30 small tamales.
Optional: Add extra anise tea and raisin-soaking liquid to the water in the