8 August 2011 11 Comments
Absinthe is a high-proof herbal spirit featuring fennel, green anise, and grande wormwood, as well as flavors of nutmeg, hyssop, coriander, juniper, and star anise. Typically louched with water to reduce the proof and open up the flavor, the drink features a distinctive cloudy, pale green color and heady aroma of licorice. Extremely popular among bohemians at the end of the 1800’s, absinthe was banned in the early 1900’s due to exaggerated beliefs of its hallucinogenic properties and other ill effects. After chemical analysis and vigorous campaigning, the spirit was reintroduced and has had a growing availability over the last two decades.
This recipe gives you a very delicate, not too sweet anise cookie topped with a luscious, soft green glaze, redolent of the herbal character of absinthe. Because absinthe has a very high alcohol content and is not sweetened, this cookie packs an intense herbaceous punch, so is only for true lovers of anise and (of course) la fée verte.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp anise extract
2.25 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
.25 tsp vinegar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1.5 tbsp butter
1.5 tbsp Absinthe (I used Lucid, but any high quality absinthe would work)
1-2 drops green food coloring
Milk to thin (1-2 tbsp)
1. Line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add anise extract and set aside.
3. Combine milk and vinegar, stir. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking powder together.
4. Begin adding your dry ingredients to your butter and eggs, 1/3 at a time. Between each addition, add 1/3 of your milk/vinegar mix. Your dough should look very fluffy and soft, a bit wetter than a drop cookie dough.
5. Using a rounded tablespoon measure, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet. Wetting the measure with a bit of water every few cookies will help keep the batter from sticking. Using wet fingers, smooth over any rough edges on the cookies.
6. Bake cookies approx. 10 minutes, rotating your tray halfway through baking. The cookies should be just golden on the bottom but will not brown on top. If you break open a cookie, it should be soft, light, and cake-like. Set cookies on rack to cool and begin your icing.
7. Melt butter and whisk in absinthe, salt, and 1T milk. Add ½ cup powdered sugar and continue whisking. Continue adding sugar and milk until icing reaches the desired consistency (I prefer it quite thick). Add 1-2 drops green food coloring – the icing should be a pale green. If you taste it and think it needs a more intense flavor, add a few more drops Absinthe or anise extract. Before using, refrigerate icing for 5 minutes to firm slightly.
8. Once cookies are cooled , set cooling rack over a piece of wax paper. Pick up each cookie, turn over and dunk the tops in the glaze. Turn right side up and return to cooling rack to set.
Cookies may be stored in air-tight containers or frozen. They are fine to serve right away, but the flavor will continue to develop overnight. They are exceptional paired with espresso or a cup of very strong coffee.