Serves: 36 to 40 (2½-inch) cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons sherry (sweet or dry)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons anise seed, finely crushed or ground, or 1 teaspoon anise extract
- 2½ cups flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sugar mixed with 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed until light. Beat in sherry and egg. Beat in anise. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter-egg mixture to make a medium dough.
- Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until dough has firmed up a little and is not sticky, but is still quite pliable.
- On a lightly floured board or pastry cloth, roll each half of dough out ⅛ inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, rerolling scraps once. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.