November 22, 2008

Eggless Anise Pretzels


These aniseed flavoured slightly crunchy cookies are shaped like pretzels. My cookie book tells me that these holiday cookies are great for serving at parties, giving as gifts or for hanging on the Christmas tree.

This recipe is from Cookies Step-By-Step Techniques from Sunset. The original recipe calls for eggs which I have substituted with flax seed.
I usually run about 6 to 8 tbsps of flax seed in the small jar of my mixer/ grinder to powder it. I store this powder in the fridge for when I need it. I have given the ingredients as given in the recipe with my adaptations within brackets.




I liked these cookies, but both my husband and daughter didn’t seem to like them very much. A part of the reason could be that anise seed is not something they particularly like. One thing both of them said was that the cookies were not sweet enough, though I thought the sugar was enough. So you might want to increase the sugar according to your taste.


Ingredients:


1 cup butter, softened (I used salted butter)

½ cup sugar

2 eggs (I used 2 tbsp flax seed powder + 4 tbsp water)

3 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 ½ tsp anise extract (I omitted this)

1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water (for brushing pretzels- I omitted this)

1 to 2 tbsp anise seeds (I used 1 ½ tbsp coarsely crushed aniseed)



Method:


Beat the butter and sugar till creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition till well combined. I used a flaxseed- water mixture and added this at this point. I ran 2 tbsp of flax seed powder with 4 tbsp water in the small jar of my mixer/ blender till well blended.
Beat in the anise extract at this point, if using it. I omitted this because I didn’t have the extract.

Gradually add the flour and the crushed anise seeds, blending well into a dough. I used less than the specified amount of anise seed as I didn’t want an over-powering smell and taste. I also coarsely crushed the seeds to release the flavour.

Divide the dough into two and roll each half into a log 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, until the dough is easy to handle.

Take the dough out, and work on one log at a time. Cut each log into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 14” long rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Place on greased baking sheets about an inch apart and brush with the beaten egg-water mixture and lightly sprinkle the anise seeds. I didn’t use this glaze and brushed the pretzels with plain water. This would explain the slightly paler brown colour of baked my pretzels.

Bake at 170C for 20 to 30 minutes till light golden in colour and firm to touch. Cool on racks and store in airtight tins.
This recipe makes 2 dozen pretzels.

These go to Manuela of Baking History who is guest hosting Sunita’s event Think Spice, Think Anise this month.

I’m also sending these to Susan of Food Blogga for her Eat Christmas Cookies - Season 2. If you are looking for some ideas for cookies, you can find a collection that kept Santa happy last year here, and what Santa is looking forward to this year here.


27 comments:

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely Aparna,I too love anise flavour now that I had made my cookies.Lovely entries to both the events.Anise is sweet and these pretzels look delish.

jayasree said...

Pretzels looks lovely. I might have to try with star anise since I don't get anise seeds here and with some more of sugar.

Sunshinemom said...

So prettily presented, Aparna! I too am not very fond of pretzels though I did make them twice - I guess one needs to develop taste for certain things. Anyway, pretzels are said to best taken with beer which I do not consume!!

Rachel said...

Lovely Christmasy presentation...I love pretzels especially for their twisted shpe...your cookies look lovely and I love the flavour...

Arundathi said...

thats so cool that they are eggless. they look really soft.

Nags said...

That's such a lovely pic!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Well, I actually love anything with anise seed in it, so these are really appealing to me, Aparna. Thank you for a unique contribution! :)

Elra said...

Hi Aparna,
those pretzel shapes cookies look mighty gorgeous. I am amaze that you able to substituted the eggs with flax seed powder and water. Such a great idea. I guess you can eat lot of these cookies then.
Cheers,
Elra

sra said...

That knot reminds me of some symbol ...

Ivy said...

Aparna, these sound delicious. I posted my Anise bread rolls participating both at Manuella's event and the Worldwide Blogger Bake-Off Challenge you invited me to attend.

Karen said...

Anise is such a nice flavor for the holidays. I like the way you made them into pretzels! Nice contribution to Susan's blog.

Pearlsofeast said...

Aparna, these pretzels are so beautiful and lovely picture dear

Arfi Binsted said...

Oh, I should make pretzel for holiday weekend project with my kids! YUM!

anudivya said...

Aww! Those are cute! With the little red ribbon...

Cham said...

Perfect for the season :)Very pretty indeed!

Happy cook said...

They looks so cute and beautiful.

Jayashree said...

Beautiful....esp the one with the red ribbon.

PG said...

Look beautiful! I'm sure the taste wonderful!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Hi aparna
i think you made lovely cookies and shape has come exactly like pretzels. Though not very sweeet but it can be varied, isnt it...nicely done.

Sorina said...

Hi I am new to your blog and I just wanted to say how much I’m loving it

Andhra Flavors said...

those are looks lovely!

Simran said...

Your cookies look lovely. I like the anise flavor in anything.

lakshmi said...

omg, your pretzels look so cool!!! got to try these - arundathi had also posted jalapeno pretzels a while back.

Taryn said...

I love anise - love it! I can't wait to try them out.

Rosie said...

Those Pretzels looks lovely!! Well done and what a great entry for all the events :)

Rosie x

Vcuisine said...

They are very perfect Aparna. Viji

Aparna said...

Jayasree, you could also try making these with "saunf".

We don't drink beer but I like pretzels, the savoury kind too.

Thanks everyone.

Sra,
Celtic knots maybe?

Welcome to my kitchen, Sorina.