For my variation of the traditional paledonia cookie from Venezuela I kneaded some aniseed and cocoa through the dough. The combination of the caramel flavor of the sugar, the spicy cinnamon, the fresh aniseed gives this chocolate cookie a deep rich taste. I formed the cookie into a pretzel and sprinkled some caster sugar on for some extra crunch. You can make this cookie thick and chunky for a more chewy cookie or choose to make little elegant mini-pretzels for a more crunchy result. I tried and liked them both.
Chocolate aniseed pretzel
For about 15-20 cookies
325 grams (1⅔ cups) unrefined cane sugar (or dark muscovado sugar)
1 cinnamon stick
60 ml (¼ cup) water
325 grams (2⅔ cups) flour
150 grams (⅔ cup) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons aniseed powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Place the sugar, cinnamon stick and water in a pan and softly bring to a boil. Keep stirring on low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
In a bowl rub the flour, egg, butter, cinnamon, aniseed, cocoa, salt and baking powder between your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Take out the cinnamon stick and add the syrup to the dough.
Knead into a soft dough.
Preheat the oven to 150°C / 330°F. Roll the dough into thin 20 cm / 8 inch sticks and form into pretzels. Bake for 25 mins. until done. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on the cookie sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
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