(PHOTO: Nikki Limberis (left) of West Dundee prepares baklava with other volunteers on Monday in preparation for Greek Fest this weekend at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Elgin. Andrew A. Nelles | For The Courier-News)
As promised in our story today about St. Sophia's Greek Fest this weekend in Elgin, here's a tasty recipe, compliments of the women of St. Sophia, for anise slices or paximathia. Kalí óreksi! (Enjoy your meal!)
7 cups all-purpose flour
7 tsp. baking powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. anise extract OR 1/4 cup ouzo
Sesame seeds (optional)
Sift flour and baking powder in bowl. Set aside.
Combine sugar, oil, eggs, salt and extract in large electric mixer bowl. Beat at high speed 10 minutes or until light and creamy.
Remove bowl from mixer. Gradually add the sifted flour, folding with a spatula until the flour is blended into a soft dough. Cover and chill for at least one hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 11x13" cookie sheets. Divide dough into six equal portions and place on a well-oiled surface. Shape each portion into a 13" x 2" slightly-flattened loaf. Place two loaves, about two inches apart, on each cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
Bake 25 minutes or until done. Remove from oven. Slice each loaf, crosswise, into 3/4" thick pieces and spread apart on cookie sheet. Return to oven and back 10 minutes longer or until lightly golden.
-- Julia Doyle, Community News Editor