Monday, November 19, 2012


or German Anise Christmas cookies

Erika Mish requested this recipe. It's another classic Grandma Gusty Burton recipe. She would always make these at Christmas time. You can use a cookie press to make them but Grandma always cut them in moon, circle and star shapes. They are not your typical cookie as they are crisp and not overly sweet. As a child they weren't my favorite but as an adult I appreciate them more, especially because they remind me of Grandma and Christmases gone by. Grandma actually has multiple recipes in her book including a hand written one with little hints added in pencil. I looked at multiple recipes on line to help sort things out and this is what I came up with. Grandma's hand written recipe had you separate the yolks from the whites, mixing each very well separately and then combine them. I'm not sure what the difference is and most on line recipes did not have you do that. 

These cookies need to sit over night before you bake them so start early!

4 (small) eggs
1tsp lemon extract
1 pound powdered sugar (=2 cups)
2 TBS anise seeds crushed - plus more
1 pound flour (=4 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

A mixer that can knead thick dough (like bread dough)
Someplace cool for the cookies to sit overnight, or for at least 12 hours, while they rise.

– Beat the eggs on med/high speed for 10 minutes.
– Add the sugar, lemon extract and anise seed.
–Mix at medium speed for 15 minutes.
– Add two cups of the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well
Slowly add in the remaining flour until dough is stiff and kneadable - you may not need to add all the flour. Dough should hold together and not be too sticky.
Cover tightly and chill several hours so the dough will roll out easily. 
Roll out dough in small batches on a floured surface to between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes or use a Springerle mold. If using the mold, dust it with flour and only press it down enough to make a clear imprint - then cut between the cookies with a knife. Allow cookies to stand overnight (as far as I can tell it's OK to transfer them to the cookie sheet to sit overnight - at least 12 hours). 
Place on a well BUTTERED (this was underlined) baking sheet that has been sprinkled with anise seed  (I personally don't remember there being anise seed on the back of the cookies... anyone else remember something different?) These cookies do not spread while cooking so you can put them close together.

Bake at 300 degrees F for about 12 minutes.
The cookies should be a very light golden brown when done.
Makes 90-100 cookies. "Store in an airtight container with a slice of apple in it to keep them moist. Check at times to see if you need a new apple as it dries out and may mold." Other recipes suggested a piece of bread. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

This is a Thanksgiving class for the Burton family. Grandma Gusty Burton made this every year and brought it for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure when I had my first traditional pumpkin pie but it's not nearly as light and fluffy as this one. This is the recipe from Grandma's cook book.

image from here

Recipe makes one large pie
Prepare/bake a pie shell for a non cooked pie according to recipe instructions. 

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin in
 1/4 c cold water

Separate 3 eggs putting 3 yolks in the top pan of a double boiler and the egg whites in a clean narrow bottom bowl (set aside at room temperature for later use).

In the top of the double boiler beat  the 3 egg yolks well with
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk (canned preferred)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c cooked pumpkin

1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Cook and stir over boiling water until mixture thickens
Add: gelatin/water mixture - mix until dissolved, set aside to cool.

Whip egg whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp vanilla until stiff peaks form.

Fold gently into COOLED (room temperature) pumpkin mixture and spread in prepared pie shell.

Chill until set (at least one hour) and garnish with whipped cream.