Prep and Cook Time: about 2 hours. Notes: These crisp cinnamon cutout cookies can be stored airtight for up to 2 days.
1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons brandy
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
How to Make It
In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in egg, brandy, and anise seeds. Stir or beat in flour and baking powder until well blended.
Divide dough in half. Flatten each portion with your hands into a 1-inch-thick round. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap airtight and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
Unwrap dough. On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll dough, a portion at a time, to 1/8 inch thick.
With floured cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes (if dough becomes too soft to handle, freeze briefly until firm again).
With a wide spatula or your fingers, transfer cookies to buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, pat into a ball, and repeat rolling and cutting. In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over cutouts on sheets.
Bake cookies in a 300° oven until golden, about 15 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.
With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release, let stand on sheets to firm up, about 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.