I absolutely LOVE aniseed biscuits. They have almost the same texture as amaretti, but taste of aniseed – obviously. On Christmas eve, every member of the family usually devours a whole bag each, accompanied by copious amounts of herbal tea.
Sometimes, I also make them myself. There are different types of aniseed biscuits & cookies – I like the ones best that require a stupid amount of mechanical energy. Basically, you can end up beating 2 eggs for up to 45 mins – ouch! Even with electric assistance, it can take ages. In the UK, it is also hard to find aniseed. I didn’t have time to pop round to Baldwin’s (my favourite shop ever!) at Elephant & Castle (or Walworth, rather) to get some, so I made do with some ground star anise. Actually tastes very nice, too!
Here is the recipe:
150 g icing sugar
150 g flour
1 tbsp ground aniseed or star anise (star anise is stronger – yey! :D)
Beat the crap out of the two eggs and the icing sugar for ages until mixture turns markedly different – white and fluffy-ish. At this point quickly whip under the aniseed/star anise powder and flour. Form about 40 little heaps of the stuff on some parchment-lined baking trays. If the stuff is runny, you’ve done it wrong, but no worries: carry on making cookie-like shapes, evey if they flow apart. You can always cut stuff apart later & although they won’t look like they should, they will still taste great! Leave biscuits to dry over night (in my case: over work). The next day, bake the dried biscuits for about 15 mins at gas mark 4-5 ish.