As I almost always do, I look around my kitchen for the first ingredient for my cookie. Sitting on my island was a gorgeous navel orange that looked soooo good. So I started thinking about flavors that would compliment the flavor of orange for my shortbread cookie.
I often look online to see what other people pair with certain flavors, and I found anise came up quite a few times with orange, so I thought that might be a great combination. I found a good article on the benefits of anise from Healthline. The article is called 7 Health Benefits and Uses of Anise Seed.
Many of you have never tasted anise; you might wonder what it tastes like. McCormick actually has a page on their site called Flavor Story: Anise Seed that I thought was a short read but very informative. I have on backorder a Pizzelle maker (since right when COVID lockdown started) that I can't wait to try with some anise seeds.
Wanting a third component to be chocolate, I love mini chocolate chips with shortbread. They work really well when cutting through a log of cookie dough. Hoping you enjoy this week's cookie recipe!
Shortbread Cookies with Orange Anise and Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup room temperature Butter unsalted 2 sticks
- ⅔ cup Powdered sugar 83 g
- 1 TBSP Orange juice fresh
- 1 TBSP Orange zest
- ½ tsp Anise extract
- ½ tsp crushed Anise seeds
- 2 cups All purpose flour 240 g
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Mini chocolate chips
- Juice and zest one large (I used a navel) orange. The anise seeds can be put into a plastic zip-lock bag and pound into tiny pieces. I purchased a Vitamix for smoothies and bought the Vitamix small container that you can grind up spices. Works like a charm. This will save me a ton of time and does a better job than I can do. You could also use a mortar and pestle to crush your anise seeds. Whichever way you can crush the seeds try to get the seeds as small as you can.
- Using a stand or hand-held mixer, add the butter and beat the butter till it is light in color and creamy looking. I use the number 6 setting on my mixer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer back to a low setting, and slowly add the powdered sugar till incorporated. Then turn the mixer to a medium speed and blend for a minute or two. Scrape the bowl again, then add the orange juice, orange zest, anise extract, anise crushed seeds and blend them for a minute. Turn the mixer down to a low speed and gradually add the flour mixture. After the flour is incorporated, I give it one more scrape down the sides and add the chocolate chips. I only blend them for about 30 seconds or less. You want them through the cookie dough, not broken up into smaller pieces.
- Flour a solid surface (I use a nonstick pastry mat) and add your cookie dough to the mat. I take some flour and sprinkle it onto the top of the dough. It will be tacky, so the flour will help you roll the dough. You will be cutting this roll in half so that you will have two rolls. I have a mold that I use to help keep the roll a round shape. Take the cardboard roll inside a paper towel roll and cut it length-wise in half. I use this to measure the length of each roll. You want them to fit nicely into the curve of each paper towel half roll.
- Next, you want to wrap both cookie dough rolls with plastic wrap. Wrap the roll using the long side of the plastic wrap piece; you want to fold the plastic under the ends so they do not dry out in the refrigerator, Slip the mold under the wrapped cookie roll, so the roll is resting in that curve. Do the same for the 2nd roll. I have a small sheet pan that fits onto a shelf in my refrigerator. Put them into the refrigerator for at least one hour. I did my cookie dough the night before and baked the cookies the next day.
- Preheat your oven to 350°, and line two cookie sheet pans with parchment paper. Unwrap one of the rolls, and I score the top of the roll and try to get even slices of about ⅜" thick. These do not spread hardly at all so that I can get 18 slices on one cookie sheet. This is about how many I get from one roll. So you should be able to get about 2-½ to 3 dozen cookies from both rolls. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Mine were perfect at 11 minutes. Enjoy!