Here, I have borrowed the flavors of pain d’épices, a classic bread of France infused with honey and spices. I use European-style butter, which has a higher butterfat content than typical American butter, for this recipe to give the shortbread a richer, more buttery flavor.
- Sift both flours, the baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and creamy. On low speed, add the aniseeds, salt, honey, and milk and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture and continue to beat just until fully incorporated. Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Fit the pastry bag with the star tip.
- Fill the pastry bag with half of the dough. Position the piping tip at what will be the center of your first rosette swirl. Pipe the center, moving the tip in a counter-clockwise spiral around the center. Once the swirl is about 11⁄2 inches in diameter, release the pressure on the piping bag and pull the tip away. Continue to fill the baking sheet, spacing the rosettes evenly. Repeat with the remaining dough, filling the second baking sheet with rosette swirls. Refrigerate the baking sheets for 15 minutes.
- Position two oven racks, evenly spaced, in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown, switching the baking sheets between the racks about halfway through the baking time. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely before serving.