From Monastery Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand, Indiana
For centuries, these cookies have been a Christmas tradition in Bavaria and Austria. After settling in America in the 19th century, Benedictine Sisters in Indiana preserved this craft, each year creating these hard-to-find cookies the Old World way. These anise-flavored cookies are made from a simple egg-and-flour dough, sweetened with sugar and honey. Using specially carved cookie molds, the Sisters press a variety of Christmas-inspired designs into the dough before baking. The result is a cookie with firm crunch (similar to Italian biscotti) -- a perfect accompaniment to coffee, tea or your holiday egg nog. Each box contains one dozen cookies (about 2" long).