Everyone, please meet Star Anise cookies… your new best friend for life. Believe me. Hehe I myself am hopelessly smitten by this cookie! It’s my new all-time favorite. The flavor and the texture… just WOW-ed me! It’s just so perfume-y and intoxicating. This cookie is intended for Christmas and the holiday season but I think it would be perfect for Chinese New Year as well. And for Hari Raya and Deepavali too. Why not ya? ;)
As I couldn’t find ready-made ground star anise (bunga lawang in Malay), I ended up making my own with mortar and pestle. The freshly grounded smell of star anise sure droves me nuts! Haha I used 5 pieces of star anise which is just nice to make up 2 teaspoons.
Sift flour, baking powder, star anise, cinnamon and allspice into a mixing bowl and add salt. Put aside.
In future I will grind my own ground cinnamon as well. Not allspice though as I have no idea where to get hold of the dried fruits of pimenta dioica.
In a another bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (3 mins). Next add eggs, vanilla seed/extract and mix until combined.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture bit by bit (coz it’ll be too much to handle if you dump all in) until combined. I can just eat this dough without baking. Haha
Divide dough into 2 and roll (with the help of cling film) each into a 5cm diameter log. Chill until firm for about 1 hour. I personally suggest freezing the log for 10-15 minutes because I find chilling ‘em doesn’t work. The log is still soft. With freezing, you’ll be able to slice easier.
Yes I know I couldn’t get a perfect round shape. Doesn’t matter coz I’m not perfect. Haha
My baking time is 14 minutes to yield prefect golden brown cookies. Was able to make around 75 pieces of this precious.
The recipe actually calls for coffee and chocolate icing on top. I tried it but didn’t really like the overall taste besides it would make this cookie too sweet. You can try it if you want. I prefer this cookie in ‘undress’ version. Hehe
Tsk, I know, I know mine doesn’t look like the actual version and yup I copied the photograph look as well coz I like it. :P
Crispy, crunchy, aromatic, flavorful, yummy, divine… a cookie that brings you to heaven and back. Every bite will make me go: Mmmmmm…
The sweetness is just nice too. Though everything is perfect, I would hope for a little bit more of star anise smell because it’s just so crazily yummy. Plan to add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of ground star anise in the future.
Do try this recipe ya. Highly recommended by me. :)
Oh btw, the cookies were gobbled up in just 5 days. Mostly by yours truly. LOL
Star Anise Cookies
Adapted from Flavours magazine (Nov-Dec 2009)
Yields about 70-80 pieces
350g all-purpose flour
5g baking powder
2 teaspoons ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon extract (I used 1/2 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
20ml warm milk
120g icing sugar
50g milk chocolate, chopped and melted
1. Sift flour, baking powder, star anise, cinnamon and allspice into a mixing bowl and add salt. Put aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Add eggs. Split and scrape the vanilla seed (or add extract) into the mixture and mix until combined.
3. Reduce speed to low, add in flour mixture (in few portions at a time so that it’s easier to handle) and mix until combined. Divide dough into two and roll each into a 5cm diameter log. Wrap in cling film and chill until firm – about 1 hour.
I find the dough is still soft after chilling for 1 hour. What I would suggest is freeze the log for 10-15 minutes. Then when you slice, you get a nicer round shape.
4. About 15 minutes before baking start, preheat oven to 180oC. Remove log, unwrap and cut into 1/2cm thick slices. Place 2cm apart on line tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown (for my case, my prefect time is 14 minutes; adjust baking time accordingly to your oven characteristics). Cool for a few minutes on the baking tray and transfer to a wire rack for further cooling.
To prepare coffee icing:
1. Whisk the coffee powder and milk to dissolve the coffee. Add icing sugar and mix well to form a soft, pourable icing.
To ice cookies:
Fill the coffee icing and melted chocolate into separate piping bags and decorate the cookies as desired.