Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm taking part in the fourth A to Z Challenge where for the month of April I will blog the letters of the alphabet in order every day except Sundays. The participation list is HERE – if you want to join in. You'll make many new friends, but most of all you'll have fun!

My theme – I have selected a cookie for each day and a book that I think is the perfect cookie companion along with a few fun facts about the cookie and/or ingredients. In America, a cookie is described as a thin, sweet, usually small cake. By definition, a cookie can be any of a variety of hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or soft.

Before I begin, let me first say a giant THANK YOU to Arlee Bird the mastermind behind this challenge! Thanks Arlee, you are A-OKAY on my list!

Anise Cookie Crisps                          

My Review – I am beginning this challenge off with a cookie from the master, Martha Stewart. The Anise Seed Cookie Crisp only has six ingredients and whips up in a jiffy. Ms. Stewart used them as holiday cookies packaged as only Martha can. This recipe makes about six dozen light crisp cookies that bear a hint of the anise flavor. They baked fast, were practically fail-proof, and a dozen disappeared almost as soon as they were out of the oven. They will definitely become a part of my holiday baking list.

Fun Facts – The anise plant (pimpinella anisum), a member of the carrot family, is native to Egypt and western Asia. Its seeds are actually the fruit of the plant, and are brownish yellow and about half the size of caraway seeds. The first thing you notice about anise is the (black) licorice-like smell. Even if you are not a fan of black licorice (like me) you might still find these cookies pleasing to the palate, as I do. Anise should not be confused with star anise, and evergreen tree native to the Far East, although one can often be substituted for the other.

Anise has been around since early times. Romans used the spice in a mustaceum cake to aid in digestion after a heavy meal. How perfect to have to eat dessert after a meal for digestive purposes. You can read more about the health benefits of anise here. In 52 B.C. a Roman traveler brought anise seeds to France. In the 9th century the Benedictine Abbey of Sainte Pieirre began coating the seeds in sugar which some believe is the origin of the anise mints still available today.

Book Buddy –  Anni's Attic by Anne Loader McGee

Anni's AtticIn 1861, as the American Civil War escalates, eleven-year old Jennine is reluctantly taken by her father to live in Savannah, Georgia, with the twelve-year old cousin she despises- Annise Loreal Bouvoir. While awaiting the return of her father from his covert Northern military duties, Jennine and Annise soon find themselves caught up in the family's espionage and Underground Railroad activities. As Jennine comes to love and admire her independent and fearless cousin she also re-examines her arrogant attitude toward Negro slaves, in particular the handsome mulatto boy who works in the family's cotton plantation. For more than three years, as the horror and deprivations of the war continue, the two cousins find comfort and joy in each other's company, and the mysterious treasures of a long-forgotten secret attic.


24 comments:

VikLit said...

Gosh what a great theme, how original. Now I'm hungry for a cookie!

S.P. Bowers said...

Love the idea of doing a cookie a day. And thanks for the info about anise. I'm not an anise fan but loved hearing more about it.

Sally said...

A cookie a day and a book to go with it - how am I going to have time to do anything else in April? Great theme.
http://sallys-scribbles.blogspot.co.uk

Elise Fallson said...

You can't go wrong with a good book and a cookie to go with it. I enjoy anise and some of my favorite mix drinks are anise flavored. I have a feeling your theme is going to be very popular! (:

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

A great and mouth watering theme.

Yvonne.

Al Diaz said...

I like anise a lot in all its forms. It's great even for stomach ailments but of course cookies are the best.

Regina Gort said...

I LOVE this idea and cookies and books! Perfect.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

VikLit, thanks! I hope you get to eat a cookie today.

S.P., you're welcome. Anise isn't one of the more popular flavorings.

Thanks, Sally. April is going to be a very busy month.

Elise, I'll have to try anise in mixed drinks. I've only had it in food.

Thanks, Yvonne. It's also a waist-expanding theme ;p

Al, thanks for the tip. Didn't know anise had medicinal purposes, too.

Regina, thanks. I enjoy having a snack with a good book.

Dana said...

What a delicious theme! ;) Can't wait to read more.

Happy blogging!

Ghadeer said...

Cookie theme! Creative :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have to eat dessert? Darn! Now pass the cookies.

Mark Means said...

I'm on a five day juice fast this week and I can already tell that coming here, every day, is going to be dangerous! :)

Great them and looking forward to more...I'm already hungry!

Julie Luek said...

Love this idea-- It will be fun to read in the coming month.

Gina Gao said...

This is a really amazing theme!

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Lexie C. said...

What a great choice in theme! The Anise cookies look delicious!
I really look forward to visiting your A-Z! :)

Nick Wilford said...

Great idea for the theme! I love black liquourice so this sounds good to me.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks, Dana, it's fun and delicious.

Ghadeer, thanks. I wanted to do something I could *sink my teeth into* ;p

Here you go, Alex *passing a virtual plate of cookies*

Sorry, Mark, I know how tough those juice fasts can be.

Thanks, Julie & Gina!

Nick, you and my daughter are the rare few black licorice lovers.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks, Lexie C., I look forward to seeing you. The cookies are yummy. I hope you get a chance to bake some.

Belle said...

What a great idea for the challenge! I found the info on anise especially interesting because I see that word in crossword puzzles all the time.
The book sounds wonderful!

Lynn Proctor said...

cookies--i love this!!!

Botanist said...

I've only just eaten, and now I'm hungry all over again! :)

Nicole said...

Oh no, I better not read your posts while I'm hungry then. ;)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Happy Day 1 of A to Z, Jenn! I love your combo-theme, and loved reading the blurb for ANNI'S ATTIC.

Samantha May said...

Great theme! I tend to stick with either chocolate chip or chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies. This will help me expand my horizons :D

Sam
Writing Through College

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