WRITTEN ON December 8th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Chocolate, Dessert, Holiday

Ok folks, check out the below YouTube link for the next entry in my Spice Diaries, plus the recipes below that are featured in the demo!  I promise it will work this time.  My cloudy old brain gets a little confused by these new-fangled computer tricks but I brought myself up to speed right quick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0dhuZFwl_c

Anise Lemon Twists (makes about 18 twists)
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar, divided
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp ground anise
Preheat oven to 400.  Mix 1/4 cup sugar with lemon zest. Lightly sprinkle a clean surface with 2 tbsp of the leftover sugar. Lie pastry sheet flat, brush with egg wash.  Sprinkle with lemon sugar mixture.  Cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips.  Twist each strip, dust with ground anise.  Place twists on cookie sheet, bake in oven about 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy.  Serve warm.

Chocolate Star Anise Truffles (makes about 25 truffles)
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 pods star anise
1 tbsp Sambuca
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
Drop anise pods into cream, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.  Let pods steep, 20 minutes.  Bring back to simmer, remove pods from cream. Pour cream into small bowl with chips.  Whisk vigorously until chocolate is completely melted into cream.  Add Sambuca, cover and chill 3-4 hours until firm (like fudge).  Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop out ganache into a large bowl of sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder.  Lightly roll truffles in cocoa powder, place in air tight container.  Store in fridge.

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