Lemon Star Anise Shortbread Cookies

This curious little taste combination is inspired by one of my favorite holiday sorbets. For a holiday cookie, I thought I’d try to combine the two distinctive flavors into a shortbread-like cookie. And though I love shortbread, I don’t often make them because they are far too delicate for my somewhat sturdy hand. So, I created a cookie that mimics shortbread, has a lovely buttery undertone, and holds together with a little help from cornstarch.

Lemon Star Anise Shortbread Cookies StepsEasy to make and easy to work with, this dough gives you the added benefit of being able to be rolled into cookie dough logs. Refrigerate or freeze and then slice and bake when you’re in need of some cookies.

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Lemon Star Anise Shortbread Cookies Get Recipe

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The Star Anise & Lemon Sugar Flavor Combination

The combination also works for the popular polenta biscotti recipes you can find streaming on the internet during the holiday season.  Just substitute about half of the sugar called for in the recipe with some ground up Lemon Sugar and then add 1 -2 tablespoons of the Star Anise extract to the recipe. A grating of lemon zest finishes off this delicious combo of cornmeal, lemon and star anise!

This flavor combination is zesty and bright when combined into cookies, not at all like sugary lemon cookies. The Star Anise, with its bitter and rich undertones keeps the Lemon Sugar bright, not sweet.

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Using Star Anise for Flavor

Even if you’re not used to cooking with Star Anise, this season, give this warm spice a try. Star Anise has a warm, rich, and complex licorice flavor. It gets a lot of play in my kitchen in the cooler months. The pods, with their unmistakable scent of licorice, bring a fuller flavor to food than the similar and gutsy licorice-flavored Anise Seed.

With Star Anise, you’ll notice the subtle flavors of dark caramel, root beer, or even molasses. The seed pods can be dropped into soups, stews, and braises. Especially if your recipe calls for cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg. And be sure to add a pod or two if you’re cooking from a recipe that calls for fennel, sweet potatoes, or even carrots. The pods can be aggressive in flavor so use sparingly, say one or two per pot. The goal is to leave a hauntingly delicious taste of something warm and spiced on the palate, not overwhelm your mouth with the taste of licorice!

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by Chef Donna Marie Desfor

To learn more from Chef Donna, follow her on Facebook @ChefDonnaMarieDesfor.

Post Author: Spice & Tea

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