Last Year's First Place Winner

1 stick butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tablespoon anise extract
6 to 7 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
About 1 pound almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Add eggs and beat until mixed. Add anise. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until a nice dough forms. Add almonds.

Cut dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a long roll. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Press logs. Bake for 20 minutes (I suggest 2 logs per baking sheet). Remove from oven and cut logs into diagonal slices. Lay slices cut-side down on same baking sheets. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes. Turn slices over, return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Note: You can also change this basic recipe and add such things as fig and walnut, chocolate and walnut, or orange and spice.

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