:bounce: aren't they beautiful!
There are quite a few recipes on the internet, and Bo Friberg did one in his Advanced Professional Pastry Chef. If you google, I think the Olli Leeb recipe (which I would be fairly certain is authentic) is out there. Martha had one that used no hartshorn, authentic traditional would use hartshorn. I'm just gearing up to make them next week if I can, so haven't gone through all my terribly disorganized notes yet.
Some other advice is to use pure Anise OIL, versus extract. If you don't have the hartshorn or bakers ammonia, I have had them come out fine with baking powder, but use less. (I have a couple very deep molds and didn't want to use the hartshorn for them). Use cornstarch to "lube" the molds, finely brushed on with a pastry brush, and I recommend when you dry them overnight before baking, do something to level out the drying, something like putting them on a fine wire rack, or if they're on a baking pan, put a dry tea towel on them. I usually do both, start them on the baking pan with tea towel, then switch to the wire rack after they've dried a little, just to save getting any grid pattern on the bottom. After they're dry, just before you bake them, take a clean pastry brush and brush off any excess corn starch top and bottom. I bake them double panned to avoid browning from the bottom.
Last piece of advice is to watch the amount of flour carefully. I use recipes as a starting place, but really let the dough speak. If you can find a recipe in weight versus cups, go there first. It's a balance to get them to not be too crunchy/tooth-breaking, but still imprint nicely in the molds. I chill very well, and have learned to handle a softer dough, not too much flour, to make a more edible cookie. I would say start with a smaller batch (or ones to hang on the tree LOL), then after they're baked off and sat around, try one, then if they're too crunchy, scale your flour down from there. It is common (and I was guilty too) to put too much flour when you first start to make them to get a good imprint. Not enough and it sticks to the mold.
I never put rind in them, it darkens and disturbs the visual with flecks, but if you want a hint of lemon (you can combine it with the Anise) use lemon oil.
I've made some nice cookies with my molds from Speculaas type recipes, also some that are nut based are nice. The imprint for a nut based cookie or speculaas might not be quite as sharp as the traditional anise cookies, but it gives some variety if you have any picky eaters who don't like the anise. Lemon with no anise also works for that, but I don't think lemon tastes nearly as nice as the anise.
Whatcha got for molds?