April 8, 2013
Star anise is the fruit of a tropical Asian tree. Chinese star anise, (not Japanese -it's toxic) used as a flavoring spice is also used medicinally in Asian cultures. The essential oils and/or ground powder can be made into a medicinal tea. Star anise contains ingredients that are said to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It's also been used for whooping cough, menopause, rheumatism and more. Me? I'm just happy that it tastes and smells a lot like licorice!
"Licorice Candy" Wheels
4 star anise, ground in a coffee grinder
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons raisins to darken color (optional)
Grind anise seed in nut/seed grinder.
In blender, mix ingredients.Be sure to get out any clumps or they will stick in decorating tip. Taste for sweetness.
Load mix into a strong pastry bag with decorating tip. Hold tip about 1/4" above a non-stick dehydrator tray and begin piping lines of mixture across your sheet. Re-twist your bag and press mixture down towards tip and apply even pressure.
Tip - I used a star tip for this. Next time, I would use the plain round tip.
Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 6-8 hours or until you can peel off non-stick sheet. Periodically, roll the lines back and forth, to ensure all sides are
At this point, you can begin to roll your wheels. Press end of wheel to seal it closed. Place on mesh dehydrator tray and continue to dehydrate for 10-14 hours (depending upon how thick your wheels are). They should no longer be sticky to touch.
Another option is to pipe individual nibs, sort of like chocolate chips. The flavor is so potent, that these little nibs go a long way, and are my preference. It's more challenging to peel each little nib off of the non-stick sheet, to flip over and dehydrate completely, but if you are up for the challenge, the little nibs are the way to go for me!
Store in airtight container
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