The smell of freshly baked buttery rich shortbread is a wonder to the mind. When you add the sultry sweetness of anise to the equasion, it is almost unbearable. Then to add insult-to-injury, you top that shortbread with a with fresh ginger butter cream and what you have words simply cannot describe.
This cookie (albeit can be classified as a pastry) came about one day when I made a mistake! We hade various shortcakes and cookies baking in the kitchen. Simply by accident, I added anise seeds to one of the doughs. Instead of throwing it out, I baked it. It was very good but it was missing something. From various travels throughout Asia, I was aware of the complimentary tastes between anise and ginger, so I decided to make a rich butter cream with some freshly grated ginger.
When you add the fresh sweetness of the ginger butter cream to the anise shortbread, what you get is a cross between a candy and cookie and the main reason for this is due to the butter cream being cooked!
This recipe does have a few steps to it and is in two parts but it is also quite easy to make at home.
Ingredients needed to make Anise Shortbread:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. anise seeds
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom of a 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper.
- Into a medium bowl, add all the ingredients. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers) work the ingredients until your have a crumb-like texture.
- Place the dough into the prepared pan and pat down.
- Place in the oven and bake 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.
Ingredients for the Fresh Ginger Butter Cream:
- 6 Tbs. butter
- 1 Tbs. corn syrup
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Into a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and melt.
- Once the butter has melted and begins to bubble, whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Cook and stir the mixture until it comes to a boil and then boil 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour over the anise shortbread (which is still in the pan). Spread the butter cream evenly over the shortbread.
- Let it cool completely (the cream will slightly harden since its been cooked and this is what you want).
- Cut into bars and serve.
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