Anise Toast

April 3, 2008

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One of my mama’s all-time favorite treats (along with Fig Newtons and a Hot Fudge Sundae) is Stella Doro Anisette Toast. Not the most decadent or lavish treat in the world…but can be just the right thing–for breakfast or snack time. While I was growing up I didn’t understand her love of the toast—I really didn’t like that ‘licorice-y’ flavor….but now that I’m older and wiser, ooh la la–bring it on, baby!

I remember my mother making a homemade version…not very often mind you, as this appealed to a more adult palate and she had at least 6 kids around to keep happy…but I remember being amazed that Mama was so talented she could make a ‘store-bought’ treat right in our very own kitchen.

I may have been a bit slow to come around to these taste-wise, but I was smart enough early on to ask her for the recipe….which I have written in her own hand, on this peculiar bit of writing paper that she kept around the kitchen. Fueled by nostalgia (or was it the fennel I added to pan-roasted pork chops the night before lingering on my tongue?) I dug around and found it and made a batch. And as soon as the first batch hit the oven, the smell was so intense and *incredible*–I immediately made a second. For I had intended to make that first batch for my parents…and I didn’t think I’d manage not to eat a dozen or so of them as soon as they had cooled! So with two batches, there’d be plenty for me to enjoy, and a good bagful to bring to my folks at the weekend.

These are less hard and crunchy than biscotti–with a more open crumb. You can obviously play around with baking times if you’d like yours crunchier…or even skip the second bake if you want to evoke more of a Anisette Sponge texture. Anyway you bake them, the smell will drive you to eat more than one…and will even perfume your house when packed in two ziplock bags. That’s right–there’s no holding this heavenly aroma back!

Anise Toast
2 1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Anise Extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a cookie sheet, or line with a silpat.
Sift flour with baking powder and salt, set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, beat until combined, then beat in anise extract.
Add flour mixture, beat at low speed until blended.
Divide dough in half, place on prepared sheet and shape each into an 11×5 inch oval.
Bake 20 minutes, until pale golden brown.
Remove from oven and cut into 1-inch thick slices.
Turn each slice on its side and bake 10 to 15 minutes more until lightly browned.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Filed Under: Cookies, Dessert, Diet-Friendly, Recipe, Sweet

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