Anise is an herbaceous annual plant often confused with fennel. It is prizes for the essential oil derived from its seeds, which have a licorice flavoring used in liquors such as absinthe and ouzo as well as in the kitchen. In India, anise seeds are chewed after meals to aid digestion and to sweeten the breath.
In the Kitchen
Use anise seeds and oil in baking cookies such as Springerle and Pfeffernusse, and in licorice flavored candies such as black jelly beans.
In the Garden
Anise is a companion to coriander and deters pests from brassicas (cabbage family). It is a good host for predatory wasps which prey on aphids. It is not a known competitor to any plant.
Anise Seed Boracchio Cookies
- 2Tbspanise seed
- 1 1/4cupsbutter
- 3/4cupwhite sugar
- 1 1/2tspvanilla extract
- 1egg, slightly beaten
- 2 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
- 1tspbaking powder
- 1 1/2tspground cloves
- Place anise seeds in a small bowl with the rum. Set aside to marinate overnight.
- In a bowl cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the anise seed and rum. Mix in the egg.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cloves.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies on greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet before moving to wire rack to finish cooling.
This recipe series is sponsored by the Center for Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems at the UVM Medical Center, focused on building sustainable food in health care.