Made at Christmas time in Mexico and the American Southwest, these biscuits are traditionally cut into fun shapes.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside.
In a medium bowl stir together four, the 1-1/2 teaspoons anise seed, the baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add egg, granulated sugar, orange juice concentrate or brandy, and vanilla. Beat until mixture is light. Beat in as much of the flour mixture (dough will be stiff). Divide dough in half.
On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll half of the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. using a 2-1/2-inch cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. If desired, sprinkle cutouts with cinnamon-sugar and additional crushed anise seed.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 9 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Transfer to a wire rack; cool. Makes about 36 (2-1/2 inch) cookies.