'Twas the week before Christmas, and on this little blog,
No one was around, not even Thatdog!
The stockings were hung by the tree all aglow,
And treats were all given to friends high and low.
We threw on our jackets and all sallied forth.
We packed up the car for our journey up north.
Pismo! We cried, what a nice place to stay.
The rooms are so spacious and Thatdog can play!
Free drinks after dinner, and free breakfast too!
We'll certainly stay here again, wouldn't you?
We headed up next to spend time in SLO,
with shopping, and walking, and new friends to know.
From there we were onward, we'd people to see!
And Thatmoms and Thatbrothers to keep company.
And soon it was Christmas, we watched without fail,
as angels and shepherds told the Christmas tale.
And in the spirit of the winter holidays, I thought I would let one of my presents inspire some holiday treats. For Channukah, Thatboy got me the new Gregory Maguire book. I heart Gregory Maguire. I love the way he twists fairy tales. He already has a "Christmas" story out - Lost, but I'd seen he had a new Christmas tale, a re-telling of The Little Match Girl and it went right on my wish list. Beautifully written and reworked, I made myself read it over 3 nights to make it last longer. And I still cried on a couple of those nights. Then I decided to cook something from the book for the blog. Even though there aren't recipes. The book mentions special Christmas anise cookies. I've never made anise cookies. And there was both my challenge and my problem. I'd never made anise cookies. But I HAVE made gingerbread cookies. And I figured that would make an excellent base. So I took a gingerbread cookie recipe and adapted it. And you know what? Fantastic. Amazing. Maybe my new favorite cookie. I was thankful Thatboy and I could bring them into work because otherwise I would have eaten every last one of them.
Gingerbread Anise Cookies
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens as seen on The Novice Chef)
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 tsp anise extract
1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
- Add brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and flour and mix until combined.
- Add molasses, eggs, anise extract and milk until combined.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned.