Sunday, 4 November 2012

Spanish orange, cinnamon and anise biscuits

This recipe is inspired by my love of the Spanish Tortas de Aciete - a speciality from Seville.  A thin oil and yeast based cracker topped with sugar and anise.  Whilst searching for a recipe I came across this:
Serious Eats Spanish anise cookies which also uses the distinct flavour and texture of anise that I love but in a biscuit.  The recipe in Serious Eats is based on one in cookbook Rustica.

So until I attempt the tortas here is my attempt at Serious Eats recipe -  for Spanish anise biscuits (with a little bit of tweaking).  It is definitely "aniseedy" and a strong, herbal flavoured biscuit - great after dinner with coffee.

preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time:  10-15 minutes


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp aniseed (the original recipe uses fennel seed) 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tbs sugar and 1 tbs sesame seed for sprinkling 
  • Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a baking sheet
  • Heat olive oil in a small pan, add aniseed and fry for 30 seconds.
  • In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, orange zest and cinnamon. 
  • Pour olive oil and orange juice over mixture and stir until the dough comes together
  • Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll to about 3/4 inch thick.  
  • Place biscuits on baking sheet with some space between and sprinkle with sesame seed and sugar mix.
  • bake until golden (about 10-15 minutes) 
  • Let biscuits cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container. Let rest overnight if you can as the flavours continue to fully mix and develop.  You can also leave the pre-made dough overnight in the fridge (wrapped in cling film) which I did.  This also gave the flavours time to combine well before baking.


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