1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon anise seeds
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1-inch chunks
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; reserve 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar in shallow dish. Grind anise seed in spice grinder until finely ground, about 10 seconds.
- Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, shortening, salt, remaining 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar, and ground anise on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Add yolk and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Reduce speed to low, add flour, and mix until dough forms, about 10 seconds. Working on piece of parchment, roll dough into 9-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. Transfer dough on parchment to large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Transfer dough, still on parchment, to cutting board. Using knife or pizza cutter, cut dough lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips, then cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips to form diamonds. Space them evenly on prepared sheets, about 20 per sheet.
- Bake until set and just starting to brown, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Gently toss cookies, a few at a time, in reserved cinnamon sugar. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely, about 1 hour.