- Date: Thursday, June 12, 2008 -- 10pm
- Location: Somerville, MA
- Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
- Dining Companion: Matty
- Recipe Rating: B
This was yet another recipe in the series of anise-flavored cookies in The Book. There are a few culinary techniques that The Book is pretty exited about. One: deep-frying. Two: Caramel. Three: Adding anise. Ok, maybe that last one isn't really a "technique" but nonetheless, The Book is seriously pro-anise. Now, I am seriously pro-deep-frying, and also pro-caramel, but anise? Not so much. So I see "1/2 cup sambuca or other anise-flavored liqueur" in the ingredients list for a batch of cookies and I put off making them for two and half years, even though "12 ounces good bittersweet chocolate" is also on the ingredients list. But the time has come when beggars can't be choosers -- the cookie choices are running low, and desperate times call for anise-flavored cookies.
So how were they? Well, imagine a piece of black licorice dipped in chocolate. It pretty much tasted like that. If that sounds good to you, more power to you. If it doesn't, I'm with you on that one. The thing that was deeply sad about these cookies is that aside from the licorice flavor, they were awesome. The texture was perfect: soft on the inside, with a thin, slightly crunchy exterior. They were moist and chewy -- absolute perfection texture-wise. I tried (with minimal success) to mentally block out the licorice flavor, and what was left was also deliciously flavored. The cookies were rich and chocolatey, and the not-terribly-sweet interior was complemented perfectly by the powdered sugar coated exterior. Plus, they were pretty. So pretty in fact that I kept eating them, only to be disappointed over and over again by the anise. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with these cookies, going back again and again only to be hurt again and again. (To be fair, the relationship probably seemed abusive from the perspective of the cookies too, since I was eating them...) So would I make these again? Well, no. But would it be easy to make a delicious cookie from this recipe? Yes! My inclination would be to replace all the sambuca with kahlua, which seems bound to produce an amazing treat. Or Grand Marnier... Basically, pick your favorite liqueur, ask yourself, "Would this be good with chocolate?" If yes, throw it in instead of the sambuca. And if your favorite liqueur is sambuca, and you think that sounds good with chocolate, no doubt you will love this recipe as written!
Here is the recipe.