1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon anise seed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound whole almonds
Variation: Substitute 4 cups walnuts for the almonds and 1 heaping teaspoon grated fresh orange zest for the anise seed.
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