Cocoa-Anise Knots

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
50 min
30 min
10 min

30 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Sambuca or other anise liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure anise extract
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, the baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the egg, Sambuca, melted butter and anise extract. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until clumps of dough begin to form. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it just comes together. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  • Fill a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, divide the dough in half. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 12-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. Trim the edges to make an even square. Cut into about 15 strips using a fluted pastry wheel or a knife. Tie the strips into loose knots.

  • Working in batches, fry the dough knots until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes, returning the oil to 350 degrees F between batches. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer to paper towels to drain. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in a bowl; dust both sides of the cookies using a sieve and let cool.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch

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