Salty Anise Butter Cookies

Adapted from Lior Lev Sercarz

6 tablespoons, unsalted European butter, softened
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons anise seed
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons Pernod or other licorice liqueur
1 tablespoon orange blossom water

1. Cream the butter, olive oil, and sugar in an electric mixer equipped with the paddle. Stir in the egg and the vanilla. Gradually add the flour a little at a time. Finally, sprinkle in the anise and then the salt. Do not over-mix; the salt should not dissolve or break apart. Roll the dough into a ball, flatten into a 1-inch-thick round disc, and wrap in Saran Wrap. Let the dough rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thick. Cut with a 1 ½-inch round cookie cutter.

4. Gently place cutouts on the lined baking sheets. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until the cookie bottoms are golden brown.

5. Mix the Pernod and orange blossom water in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture on each cookie. Then use a metal spatula to gently remove each cookie from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Serve when cool.

Variation: For a Ginger-Cardamom Butter Cookie, substitute 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom for the anise and salt. Substitute Canton, or other ginger liqueur, for the Pernod.

Yield: About 64 small cookies

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