Tortas de Aceite – Anise and sesame seed cookies

Makes a dozen 3-inch cookies

1 C vegetable oil
A strip of lemon peel 2-inches by 1/2-inch
2 t anise seeds
2 t sesame seeds
1/2 C dry white wine
1 t finely grated lemon peel
1 t finely grated orange peel
1/3 C sugar
2-1/4 C flour
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 C blanched, sliced almonds

In a small skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it. Remove the pan from the heat , stir in the lemon peel, the anise and sesame seeds, then set aside to cool.

Discard the lemon peel and pour the oil and seeds into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the wine, grated lemon peel and orange peel, and the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir the flour and cinnamon into the mixture, 1/2 C or so at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, knead in the remaining flour. Gather the dough into a ball and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Pat and shape each piece into a disk about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Arrange about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Press 6 to 8 almond slices into the top of each cookie and bake for about 40 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are firm to the touch. Transfer to a rack too cool. They keep for a few weeks in a covered cookie jar.