If you love the taste of licorice, you’ll love Star Anise Biscotti! Light and crispy, and beautifully glazed with simple icing; these pair so well with a latte and make a perfect afternoon treat!
I was inspired to make this recipe because of a version I found on a fellow blogger’s site. Her name is Maria and she really loves biscotti! She’s even dedicated the name of her blog to biscotti – you can find her at She Loves Biscotti. Because of my love of anise and biscotti, I had to include my version of a Star Anise Biscotti in this series.
Two years ago, I published my recipe for Star Anise Cookies. It was a part of my first 24 Cookies of Christmas series. I swear, I ate so many of those cookies, I made myself sick. They were completely addictive. To avoid repeating history, I gave these away as soon as I finished taking the pictures!
WHAT IS ANISE?
If you’re not experienced with the flavours star anise spice, let me try my best to describe this unique flavour to you. I mentioned that it had a licorice flavour, and it does. It tastes like black licorice. If you like that taste, or if you like the taste of fennel, you’ll love anise.
Fennel seeds are used quite often in sausage recipes, so you’ll probably already be familiar with the flavour. Anise flavour is quite often used in Chinese cooking. In fact, it’s one of the main spices in the popular Chinese 5-Spice blend. Since there are many candies that have adopted the anise flavour, I’m sure you’ve already experienced the flavour.
You can buy star anise in its whole form. It’s hard and comes in the shape of an eight pointed star. They’re actually quite pretty! You can also buy ground star anise, or anise seeds. I’m using anise seeds in this recipe. Star anise also comes in the form of an extract, and can be found in most grocery stores. In addition to the anise seeds, I used anise extract in the biscotti and in the icing.
THE ICING IS OPTIONAL
The icing on these Star Anise Biscotti is completely optional. I think it adds sweetness to the cookie. It’s certainly a great pairing with the strong flavour of the star anise. But, if you want to skip it, you can. The biscotti is perfectly flavoured and balanced without the addition of the glaze. I added it to make the biscotti a little extra festive.
Since anise pairs so well with chocolate, you can dip these in melted chocolate as well. In fact, I’ve baked these biscotti previously and added about a cup of chocolate chips to the dough. They were delicious!
STORING AND FREEZING
These biscotti will last in the freezer for three months. Be sure you have a good container with a tight seal. Whenever I’m freezing cookies, I always double up on the seal action. Before I place the lid on, I always drape a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Then I push the lid on. I just feel that the lid fits more tightly. Any little thing I can do to keep the frost out, I’m going to do it! I like to use tins like this.
Like I always say, if you freeze any baked goods, remove only the amount you want when you decide to thaw them. Fetch the container from the freezer and remove only what you need. Put the lid back on and get the container back in the fridge.
To properly thaw baked goods, place them on a plate or a wire cooling rack. Don’t pile them. Spread them out and give them some space. Let them sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. They will taste fresh and perfect every single time!
Like I said at the beginning, I’ll be posting 12 biscotti recipes in this series on back-to-back days. If you can’t wait, you can certainly refer back to a series from previous years. Just click on the collection photos below. Cheers!
Star Anise Biscotti
For the Biscotti:
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons anise extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon anise seeds, plus more for garnish
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- 2-3 teaspoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, 2 teaspoons of the anise extract, and baking powder until well combined and creamy.
- Next, add the eggs and beat them into the batter until well mixed.
- Now, add the flour and the anise seeds. Beat in until just combined. The dough will be sticky.
- Turn dough out onto prepared baking sheet and form into a log. (Dust your hands with flour; dough is a bit sticky!)
- Form log into a rectangle shape that is roughly 5" wide and 12" long.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a wire cooling rack so that air can circulate around the baking sheet. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, reduce the heat to 325°F.
- Using the parchment paper, slide the log onto a large cutting board. Slice into 3/4" slices across the width of the log.
- Place slices back onto baking sheet which has been lined with more parchment paper. Slices are cut side down. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Carefully turn the cookies over and bake for another 12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
- When completely cooled, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, anise extract, and milk until smooth.
- Drizzle over the tops of the biscotti. Sprinkle over more anise seeds for garnish. (Optional) Allow the glaze to set before storing.
- Package biscotti for gift-giving or pile into a food-safe container. Leave at room temperature, or freeze until needed for up to 3 months.