Brownie Cordial Cookies and Anise Candy

6 days until Christmas…

6 days until Christmas…

DSCN3503Growing up we went to a church that had a phenomenal Christmas bazaar every year.  There were certain things that could not be missed.  In the tearoom, you could sit and drink hot cider and eat a selection of Christmas cookies and cream puffs stuffed with chicken salad.  There were the baked beans.  Sadly that recipe didn’t make it into the church cookbook.  I’ve been attempted to recreate the beans.  My mom had the recipe at one point, but it might’ve gotten lost in a move.  The beans were that good. DSCN3504You could tell it was time for the bazaar weeks ahead of time.  The familiar fragrances of the church, the incense, Murphy’s oil soap, old wood, and beeswax, would start to become entwined with the smell of sugar and anise.  DSCN3507At the bazaar, a cut glass punch bowl would be piled high with baggies full of jewel-like red and green candies.  My siblings and I would always make sure that my mom bought at least one bag.  There were a few years where I would bring my own money to secure my own bag.  Anise is one of those flavors that not everyone likes.  I get it.  But it takes me back to those days of helping in the tearoom, exploring all the goodies, conversations in the kitchen with the “old” church ladies.  And the color is so pretty and this anise flavor isn’t very strong. It’s more of the suggestion of anise than a powerful anise flavor.  DSCN3506Since those days I have helped 2 churches start their Christmas bazaars.  One turned into an event with a fancy wine and cheese night and silent auction.  The other is an amalgamation of sewn crafts, canned food, lefsa, fresh bread, herb butters.  I was the official bread maker for years. DSCN3508 Ok, enough of the sentimental drivel and let’s get to cookies.

Chocolate, cherries, coconut.  They are soft and chewy and vaguely taste like the cherry cordials that my husband insists on every year, but grown up and better.  I considered breaking into my stash of brandied cherries that I made earlier this summer to experiment with, but realized that these cookies should be more child friendly. (Which is the same reason I didn’t put brandied apples in my apple pie, although that was tempting also.)  The recipe does not call for any decoration or frosting, but I had melted chocolate leftover from decorating the Real Orange cookies and thought it might look pretty and add a touch of class to the chunky brown cookies.  They provide a nice foundation to my cookie plates and create a nice balance of flavors and textures.  (And aren’t they pretty?)AniseBrownie Cordial Cookies

 

 

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