This is my most treasured and special cookie recipe. These twist cookies growing up were simply known as Zia's cookies because they were my dearly departed aunt's specialty. She would come over to my mother's house by request and spend an afternoon cranking dozens and dozens of them out so that my mom could have a decent stash in the freezer for when company came around (but really we probably ate them all before any company actually came around). They were THAT good and she was the only one who could make them. Not only did they taste great, they were mixed, rolled and twisted to perfection, whereas you can see in my photo some of my cookies have little cracks or craters, hers were completely smooth and gorgeous.
Unfortunately, I was never able to learn straight from the master how to make them. I assumed I had lots of time to get to it, life had other plans... She passed away before I had the chance. I had her recipe and was determined to keep her memory alive through them. It took a lot of trial and error! A lot of tears and frustration and tons of wasted flour & eggs but I finally got them down. I won't lie and say these are a snap or "doddle" (as Nigella would say) to make but they are so worth the effort!
My heart hurts a lot that she's no longer with us. I wish she could come over to my new home and share a baking marathon afternoon with me. I miss her so much. I find myself thinking about her a lot this time of year and always when I make these cookies. Her memory and her sweetness live on in this recipe.
|I buy my anise extract at Bulk Barn. You will need it for the cookie dough and the icing / glaze|