30th November marks St Andrew’s Day and it’s become something of a tradition to share a Rosie twist on a shortbread recipe to celebrate. These star-shaped star anise shortbread are perfect for this time of year, filled with aromatic, aniseed-scented spice and topped with a sugary glaze. Thinking ahead to the festive season, they’d make a lovely seasonal gift too! If you’re not a fan of the aniseed flavour, you could substitute with 1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon or ground ginger, mixed spice or nutmeg. To make the star anise shortbread, you will need:
5 – 7 star anise, ground in a spice mixer and sieved, or 1 tsp ground star anise
125g unsalted butter
100g light brown sugar
50g golden syrup
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
For the icing:
200g icing sugar
A splash of milk.
Preheat the oven to 180C/ Fan 160C/ Gas 4. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a large saucepan over a low heat – make sure the mixture doesn’t boil.
Stir in the flour, bicarb and star anise.
Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms into a dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll out to 5 – 7 mm thick. Cut out small star shapes using a cutter (I couldn’t resist a star to match the star-shaped star anise!) and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 9 – 12 minutes or until golden and leave on the tray for five minutes. Remove and continue to cool on a wire rack.
For the icing, mix the sugar together with a few drops of milk to form a thick paste. Transfer a third of the mixture to a piping bag and pipe a border round the edge of each star. Leave to set for five minutes, then return any excess icing to the bowl. Add a few more drops of milk to make a slightly runnier icing to flood the centre of the biscuits – the border will hold the icing in the middle. The trick is not to use too much, and use a cocktail stick to spread the icing right out into the edges.
Leave to dry out completely, then try not to eat them all at once! Keeps in an airtight container for a week – if they last that long…
Recipe via Flora Shedden’s Gatherings.