getting anise flavor from anise seeds or a bottle of ricard anise

i made a french seafood dish that got the anise flavor from ricard anise plus fennel in the dish. i have a biscotti recipe that calls for using anise seeds for its anise flavor yet another biscotti recipe that calls for getting the flavor from an anise-flavored liqueur (they mention sambuca). any idea if the anise seeds gives sufficient anise flavor?

  • Posted by: alan
  • August 13, 2022


Nancy August 14, 2022
My experience is similar - anise seed gives great flavor to biscotti - and I agree with 702551.
Just for fun, I dug up a recipe by Artusi, and while it is not mainly flavored with aniseed, it does have SOME.
So the lineage is there. :)
alan August 14, 2022
did u make the cookie u linked to? if so, was it particularly special?
Nancy August 14, 2022
Yes I have made one similar (but without the candied citron or pumpkin) and it was very good.
I mostly linked this one because of it shows the historical depth of aniseed use in biscotti.
For your decision, why not make side-by-side small batches, one using seeds, one using liqueur, and see which one you like more?
alan August 14, 2022
yes, at some point i'll do a comparison.
702551 August 13, 2022
Over decades I have consumed many dishes baked/cooked with anise seeds and I assure you that the anise flavor comes through.

In most cases, using a liqueur or spirit is a more recent innovation since your typical peasant family wouldn't have the budget to afford the liqueur. Seeds are cheaper than distilled spirits. It takes time, money, equipment, space and special expertise to distill.

It's worth noting that something like an anise seed biscotti preparation is likely a couple hundred years old. If the anise seeds did nothing, the recipe wouldn't have been passed down over time to land in a cookbook.

Biscotti recipes -- like many Italian cookies of this style -- were codified in the nineteenth century, long before the era of widespread household refrigeration. These are desserts designed to survive months of storage.

If you are seeking well tested biscotti/Italian dessert recipes, consider looking at Emiko Davies website. She does her research and a lot of her recipes are based on those from Artusi's classic cookbook (published in 1891).
alan August 14, 2022
i will look at emiko's site. u provided a lot of good info. i think i can't get ricard anise in a small bottle but maybe sambuca. i would like to see how one compares to the other
alan August 22, 2022
i found crushed anise seeds easily and bought them. craig claiborne's recipe called for 4t of liqueur and i was able to find that 4T of anise seeds was the equivalent. his recipe's baking time is way off and i baked it too long. the bottom was burned and i had to scrape the burn off. nonetheless, it was 1st or 2nd best of the 5 biscotti i made. it had rum. the anise came through very well. craig recommends drizzling it w liqueur. i will try it made w liqueur and w drizzling it w liqueur and will report back tho it might take me 2 months.
Nancy August 23, 2022
Alan - no longer have dead-trees version of Claiborne recipe & version at NYT is behind paywall, so I don't know how long or how hot he calls for baking.
Checked two classic recipes for Italian almond biscotti/cantuccini and got advice for 325F/165C for 30 and then 10 minutes, or 350F/175C for 30 and then 10 minutes.
Hope that helps on next round of testing recipe.
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