Think of these sweets as deconstructed biscotti. The cookies have a similar flavor, but here the dough is pressed into a single flat sheet for faster baking and then broken into jagged pieces.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, anise seeds, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in whole egg and zest. Reduce speed to low, and beat in flour mixture.
Press dough into an even 1/4-inch thickness on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash; sprinkle with almonds and remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Break into pieces.