Sometimes called jumbles, these intricate Celtic Knot butter cookies date back to medieval times. They're flavored with vanilla and two kinds of seeds—anise and caraway.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread anise and caraway seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Coarsely grind toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle, or in a spice grinder.

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  • In a medium bowl, whisk together ground seeds, flour, and salt. Set aside.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed, then beat in vanilla. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined.

  • Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead gently. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.

  • To make knots, measure 1 heaping tablespoon of dough; roll into a ball. Transfer to a floured surface; roll into a rope about 12 inches in length and 3/8 inch in diameter. Shape rope into a trefoil design on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently press dough at ends and at each intersection to adhere. Measure 1 scant tablespoon of dough; roll into a ball. Transfer to a floured surface; roll into a rope about 8 inches in length and 3/8 inch in diameter. Form into a circle about 3 inches in diameter, pinching ends to form a ring. Center ring on top of trefoil design and gently press to adhere. Repeat with remaining dough (4 to 6 cookies per sheet). Freeze until firm, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until lightly golden brown on edges, 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving, if desired.

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