2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
55 mins, plus chilling time
These simple icebox cookies add a dignified air to the end of a meal with their rich hazelnut and sweet anise flavors. Plus, the dough will last up to a month in the freezer, so you can keep it on hand for whenever you get the hankering for a treat.
Game plan: Hazelnuts are typically sold with a thin, dark skin attached. You can easily rub the skin off with a clean kitchen towel after toasting the nuts. Don’t worry if there are a few bits left—they’ll add color and flavor.
If you froze the cookie dough, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 40 minutes before cutting and baking.
1Combine hazelnuts and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse about 10 times until nuts are finely ground; then add flour, salt, and anise seed and pulse to combine.
2Add butter and pulse until dough just comes together, about 1 minute. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 1-1/2-inch-wide log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour or keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
3If baking right away, heat the oven to 350°F and arange a rack in the middle. Once the dough has chilled, slice 1 log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place rounds about 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet.
4Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the bottom edges become pale and golden. Repeat with the other log. Cool cookies for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.