These are such neat cookies. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. They are sweet with a spice and heat that cannot be denied. If you make just one Italian cookie this Christmas, this would be the one to make.
2 cups water
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of citron
1/2 cup of golden raisiins
1 cup of chopped hazelnuts (walnuts will work here too)
1/2 cup of chopped almonds
5 teaspoons of double acting baking powder (or 2.5 of baking ammonia if you can find it)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons of anise seeds
1/4 teaspoons of white pepper (yes, really!)
5 cups of flour
Over medium heat, combine water sugar and honey in a fairly large pot. Heat until it simmers and all the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pot from the burner. Add your spices and nuts. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) and stir until it is well combined. The resulting dough is very sticky and basically impossible to work with at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
Roll the dough out into logs about 1-inch thick. Cut into equal cookies about 1 1/2 inches long. With your finger, make a small indent in the middle of each cookie to slightly flatten.’
Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a 325 degree oven. I check them at 10 minutes, they are usually done at 12 minutes. Make sure to check the bottom as it will be the first place to burn. You do not want that.
Sprinkle them with powdered sugar and enjoy!