My friend Cynthia had what I considered the ideal childhood: a father who made stilts and huge towers from saplings, and a mother who baked and danced in the kitchen to tunes on the radio. I would ride my bike 2 or 3 miles to her house, play games inside or learn how to manage the ever-increasing length of the stilts outside, and after play came treats. These were my favorite, served on a plate by Cindy’s mother, who was always dressed up.

Anise Cards

2 C flour (I always use at least 1/4 C whole wheat flour in every cup of white)
1 1/4 C sugar
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t anise extract
1/2 C soft butter or Earth Balance spread
1/2 C milk
1/2 t salt
2 eggs

Grease and flour a 10″ x 14″ jelly roll pan (the kind with short sides).

Set the oven to 350 degrees.

Blend first 7 ingredients with a mixer, then add eggs one at a time, still mixing. Spoon into prepared pan, covering as much area as you can with the spoonfuls, as it’s stiff and hard to spread evenly. Bake 25 minutes, turning the pan around once about halfway through. Sprinkle colored sugars over the top, and once cool, cut into little fingers. You can avoid the dye and wax of colored sugars by using demerara or sanding sugar, but they won’t have that holiday shimmer. Cindy’s mom used red and green, I used up my old red and yellow.

[from kid: Instead of sending more pictures of cookies, my mom sent one of the cat. Enjoy.]