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 didnu2019t 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 didnu2019t 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 14u201d 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 didnu2019t 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.