Biscuit With Anise

Few days ago, I had a mild flu. I felt like eating something sweet but nothing too sweet. I remembered that when I was young, my aunt used to tell me that anise is very good when you have cold. Boil the seeds in water then remove them with a spoon and add some honey, you will feel better. She was telling me this while making these biscuits with anise and until now I remember that wonderful aroma that wafted to me from the oven. I brought my notebook, which I have been filling until this day with recipes I collect from my mother and her sisters since I was 17 years old, and wrote down that which I’m going to share with you.

In my flu-ridden state, I turned to this biscuit recipe in my notebook; thankfully I had all the ingredients ready and didn’t need to go do grocery shopping. The best thing about this recipe it is quick to prepare, and the rest is left to the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon of anise seeds
  • 1/3 cup of corn oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • sesame (optional but recommended)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C (or 300 F)
  • Mix all the ingredients by hand. Add water to the dough if you feel it’s hard
  • Take a small piece from the dough and shape it to your liking by hand. Dip the circle in some sesame seeds if you have some ready
  • Place these biscuit in a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until they are a nice golden color from the top
  • Enjoy the aroma while it cools. Have it with some tea if you’re feeling under the weather like I was, it’s a real treat

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Lebanese Macaroon

The Lebanese Macaroon is very different from the French one. For one thing, the French Macaroons are made from almond powder, egg whites and sugar whereas the Lebanese ones are made out of semolina, oil and some spices. Also, the French Macaroon is baked in the oven while the Lebanese variation is fried in oil. It’s a very indulgent dessert, with a high amount of sugar (how much sugar syrup you add is up to you.) I’ll be posting the recipe for the French Macaroons sometime in the future; you can try it then and see the difference for yourself.

When I was young, I used to help my mother to roll the dough when she made macaroons. It would make me happy to sit on the floor, shaping the dough and rolling it on a straw chair to create a pleasant texture. It maybe difficult to find a straw chairs nowadays (its not necessary to use one) so rolling the dough on a cheese grater will create a similar effect.

This is my mother’s recipe and it is unmistakably delicious. Help yourself to a wonderfully indulgent dessert 🙂

Sugar Syrup Preparation:

  • Boil 2 cups of sugar in a cup of water, stirring occasionally
  • When done, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of rose water
  • Keep warm until you use it in the macaroon

Macaroon Ingredients:

  • 500 grams fine semolina (3 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground anise
  • 1 teaspoon dried instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • warm water to form the dough, about 1 cup of water (have a bit more handy)
  • oil for frying
  • sugar syrup

Preparation:

  • Mix the semolina, fennel, anise, dried yeast, sugar and the corn oil together with one cup of water until it forms a soft dough (add only one cup at the beginning, but if you find that the dough still hard add more water little by little until the dough is soft and easy to manage)
  • Take a palm-sized roll of dough, roll it into a long shape (about one finger’s length) and roll it against the grater to give it texture
  • When you finish all the dough, deep fry them until they give a nice golden color
  • Remove from them from the oil and straight into the sugar syrup. Do this quickly so that the macaroons absorb the syrup

ET VOILA C’EST TOUT:)