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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.