|Butter/Margarine||1⁄2 Pound, softened (1 Cup)|
|Sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Anise extract||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|All purpose flour||3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs)|
|Water||1 Tablespoon (Omit If Shaping Dough With A Springerle Rolling Pin)|
In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy; beat in the 2 eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined after each addition.
Beat in anise extract.
Gradually add flour, blending thoroughly.
Divide dough in half.
For pretzels, roll each half into a log 2 inches in diameter.
For picture cookies, shape each half into a rectangular slab.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until easy to handle (at least 1 hour).
For pretzels: Cut logs of dough into 3/8-inch-thick slices.
Roll each slice into a rope about 14 inches long, then twist into a pretzel shape.
Place on greased baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.
Brush with egg-water mixture, then sprinkle lightly with anise seeds.
Bake in a 325Â° oven for about 20 minutes or until light golden and firm to the touch.
Transfer to racks and let cool.