This is what Christmas tastes like.
Since the beginning of time, my Italian grandmother made coffee cans full of these cookies for the holidays. They are not baked like traditional cookies but made on an iron and flavored with anise. The other ingredients for these cookies are very basic but the secret is to know how long to leave them on the iron. I guess you can use other flavorings besides anise but the balance of the sweet and licorice is the way they should be done. A sweet crunchy cookie with that hint of bitterness gives it character, just like all the Italians I know. Since my grandmother passed in 1997, my mother has taken on the mantle of supplying these much coveted cookies for the holiday festivities. But a couple years ago, she gave my cousin and I our own irons so now we all can make them.
Ken, Cindy and Austin hung out while all this was going on. There was an impromptu guitar jam session and fun with a stick horse. Hilarity ensued. Note that Austin is smiling--it was a banner day.