Another fabulously delicious recipe from Alice Medrich.
I love, love, love the faint licorice flavor in these cookies from the ground anise. I also really like that the recipe calls for whole wheat flour.
Aniseed and Almond Shortbread
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon aniseed, slightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds
Sugar for sprinkling
Line the bottom and all four sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the sugar, aniseed, vanilla, and salt. Add the flours and mix just until incorporated. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan. Let stand for at least 2 hours, or overnight (no need to refrigerate).
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 300F.
Sprinkle the almonds evenly over the top of the shortbread and press them gently into the dough. Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Sprinkle the shortbread with pinches of sugar. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Using the foil, remove shortbread from pan. Use a thin sharp knife to cut into squares. Place the pieces slightly apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
Cool on a rack.