Preparation / Directions:
The 3rd place winner in the Chicago Tribune's 1996 Annual Holiday Cookie Contest; by Marilyn Cahill of Chicago, Illinois.
1. Heat oven to 350'F. Beat 3/4 cup of the sugar, butter and lard in large bowl of electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Beat in flour, cinnamon, anise seed and salt until well mixed. Stir in pecans.
2. Roll walnut-size pieces of dough between palms to make round balls. Put remaining 1/4 cup sugar in pie plate; roll dough balls in sugar. Place balls 5 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press each ball with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar to about 1/4-inch thickness.
3. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 300'F and continue baking until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.
Test Kitchen Note: An additional 1/2 cup butter can be substituted for the lard. Also, you may bake the cookies at a constant 325'F; cooking time should be about t