This is a German Christmas biscuit traditionally served with black coffee to dunk the biscuit in. I prefer to eat them when they are still warm as the lemon flavour and the anise is a wonderful combination.
4 cups (700g) icing sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 1/2 cups (500g) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 drops anise essence
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In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until very light and fluffy. Stir in the anise essence and lemon zest. Add the flour and baking powder; mix until well blended. Cover and chill dough for 3 to 4 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 3-5mm thickness. Use a springerle rolling pin or board to make the designs. Cut into 4cm rectangles, place onto a baking tray and let them sit out overnight, uncovered, in a cool dry place.
The next morning, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not let the biscuits brown. Allow biscuits to cool and store in an airtight tin for 1 week to blend the flavours.