Remember our friends over at MARX FOODS?
A couple of months ago, they asked their fan bloggers to choose three ingredients and cook something with them.
I chose star anise , Madagascar vanilla and Demerara Sugar.
I love the shape and flavor of anise and vanilla gives a soft depth to dishes that nothing else can, sugar is rarely in my kitchen, but in small amounts, it blesses food with occasional sweetness and if used sensibly it can give you a lot of taste and enjoyment without adding anything extra to your waistline.
These cookies are an explosion of flavors, the first bite meets you with Himalayan salt and dark chocolate, and then butter, vanilla, anise and brown sugar melt on your tongue. The aftertaste is sweet and deep and you cannot eat too many of them, which is what I like best.
This recipe will make about 25 cookies.
You can keep it simple and skip the chocolate and salt and have your cookies plain or you can go the whole way and have a flavor feast.
Here is what you need for the dough:
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut in small cubes
1 1/4 cup flour (mix of rye and wheat)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp Demerara sugar
12 anise seeds (take out from shells and grind)
1 inch vanilla (scrape out inside)
1 tsp fine Himalayan salt
2 oz melted dark chocolate
Himalayan salt crystals
In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Mix in the egg yolks and stir. You will have large flour crumbs as a result. Mix in the butter and use your fingers to combine everything well until you have a soft uniform dough. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 370 F (175 C).
To make the cookies, use a flat surface coated with flour. Roll out the dough and cut out 5 mm thick shapes. Bake on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes. Remove and cool off before coating with chocolate if you choose to do so. To coat with chocolate, dip each cookie in melted dark chocolate (melt over medium heat in a small pot immersed in boiling water or in a double boiler), then place on a sheet to dry and sprinkle Himalayan salt on top.
You can store the cookies in a cookie jar until someone sneaks them all out, and if they survive, probably for about a week. Place some star anise inside, to keep the wonderful flavor alive.
Meanwhile, head over to Marx and yes: