Use a coffee or spice grinder to pulverize the spice pods.
5.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground star anise (about 3 pods)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
How to Make It
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through cream of tartar); stir with a whisk. Place butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 30 seconds or until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg; beat 1 minute or until well combined. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed 30 seconds. Shape dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.
Arrange 1 oven rack 2 positions down from top of oven; arrange another rack 2 positions up from bottom of oven. Preheat oven to 375°.
Shape dough into 24 balls. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Roll dough balls in cinnamon mixture, coating completely. Place balls 3 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 11 minutes or until edges are golden, rotating pans after 6 minutes. Cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
I made four batches of these cookies with variations. They original recipe is good, but more like a sugar cookie and not a snickerdoodle. I did grind and sieve star anise -- very nice addition. I thought that, being a light recipe, it was a little heavy on the sugar. My final version (doubled recipe): 12 Tbsp butter, 300 g sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 14 oz AP flour, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 6 star anise pods -- so I cut back on the sugar/salt a bit, upped the flour a tad, and changed the leavening -- Classic snickerdoodles use cream of tartar + baking soda (which is also a sub for baking powder), but inhibits browning, spreading, and gives it that tang. I also scooped, rolled, dipped in cinnamon sugar, then chilled the dough prior to baking and it helped prevent spread (as well as making sugar not to over cream the butter)
@livi2eat - My thoughts almost exactly! I made one batch as is (I always try things like they are, then try to improve!), and it flattened, so I had to increase the flour, and I also thought that small amount of cream of tartar was strange with BP, so I looked at my traditional snick recipe, and arranged all of the ingredients accordingly - 1/2 tsp cream of tartar + 3/8 tsp soda for one recipe. I think the high sugar content was to make up for the lower butter - if both reduced, it would simple be dry, so I just increased the flour some - 3 tb - , to keep them from flattening out. The other three recipes came out looking like my normal ones - a little higher, with less spreading, and a nice, chewy center, with crispy edges.
I always sift my star anise, as others have noted. I sift it through a fairly fine strainer, which traps about half of the powder, then I grind that again, and sift it one more time. I end up throwing away about 1/5 of it, but it's better this way.
These are fantastic cookies -- traditional and different all at once. The star anise flavor comes through but is not overpowering -- they still taste like snickerdoodles, and they're chewy and crispy in just the right way. Followed recipe exactly except I bought powdered star anise at Penzey's and used that instead of grinding my own. I don't trust my present spice grinder to get the grind fine enough for a cookie. I did read elsewhere though that you could sieve any star anise you grind yourself to get rid of chunks. Made 8 dozen for two cookie exchanges and the recipe scaled beautifully. Highly recommended, especially if you are excited about trying new flavors and spices. If you're worried that you don't like licorice, I'll point out the anise flavor was mild enough that I observed a toddler happily chowing down on one. Will definitely make again.
What a great spin on a traditional cookie! I halved the amount of anise but kept the rest of the recipe in tact. To see step by step photos, check out my blog post on these cookies: http://www.icancookthat.org/2013/12/giveaway-star-anise-snickerdoodles-giveaway.html
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