Start to Finish: 20 minutes active, 2 weeks inactive
Servings: Makes 1 cup
Anise oil provides a kiss of the licorice-like flavor and aroma of the spice, a must for anisette cookies, Italian chombolini and German springerle.
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- 2 ounces anise pods (star anise)
- 1 cup neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed, avocado or safflower
Heat a stainless-steel saute pan over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Add the anise pods to the pan.
Toast the anise pods until fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir the pods frequently.
Grind the anise pods in a spice grinder until coarsely ground. Transfer the spices to a saucepan.
Add 1 cup of neutral oil to the saucepan. Heat the anise and oil over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the stove and set it aside to cool.
Transfer the oil to a glass storage container. You can also use a bowl or measuring cup and use two layers of plastic wrap to seal it tightly. Set the oil in a cool cupboard or the refrigerator to infuse for two weeks.
Strain the anise oil through a sieve lined with three to four layers of cheesecloth and into a sterilized glass jar or oil bottle with an airtight seal. Store anise oil in the refrigerator and use it within one month.
Anise oil can be used for baking or drizzling, but not frying. Additional tips:
- Incorporate additional spices into the anise infusion for a more complex flavor. Complementary spices include cloves, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and coriander.
- Let the anise oil reach room temperature before using.