A Nice Anise Biscuit Recipe

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - August 17, 2011
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Congratulations to Alvin Chan, a Mid-Pac boy who went on to earn his BFA in acting from UH and who was awarded the Fox Foundation’s “Extraordinary Potential” grant, thanks to a proposal written by the folks at Honolulu Theatre for Youth in preparation for their soon-to-be launched “Season of Cultures.”

Alvin traveled to China, Hong Kong and Japan to develop his expertise in traditional Asian performance techniques prior to finalizing HTY’s season opener and world premiere of Anime Momotaro, which he co-wrote with HTY artistic director Eric Johnson and will star in.

Anime Momotaro launches HTY’s first season of 100 percent original works the first time in HTY’s 57-year history that every performance is entirely original, created by and for the people of Hawaii.

Alvin says the show will be a visual delight, drawing on the design concepts of anime, manga and the crazy Japanese game shows done in Matrix style. The koken, or traditional black-clad stagehands of Japanese theatre, will be rendered in a quirky, playful spirit that makes the action seem as if it is animated.

The play opens Friday, Aug. 26, at Tenney Theatre on the grounds of The Cathedral of St. Andrew. For more information, call 839-9885. Tickets also be ordered online at htyweb.org.

This column is dedicated to Alvin Chan.

Anise is used whole or crushed in cookies, cakes, breads, cheese, pickles, stews, and fish and shellfish. Roasting enhances the flavor. Middle Eastern, Portuguese, German, Italian and French cuisines use anise in seasoning blends such as curry, hoisin and sausage.

Anise also is used in the preparation of cordial liqueurs such as anisette.

Most anise is produced in Spain, but additional suppliers include Turkey and Egypt. Spanish anise is considered premium because of its better flavor, appearance and higher oil content.


* 1/2 cup Smart Balance margarine
* 1 cup sugar
* egg substitute to equal 3 eggs
* 2 teaspoons anise extract
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
* 3 cups unbleached flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder

Cream Smart Balance with sugar; add egg substitute and beat well.

Add extracts to combine. Add flour mixed with baking powder a little at a time, until combined with wet ingredients.

Mix and knead until smooth. Form two rolls and flatten slightly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Let sit for 10 minutes, then cut in 1/4-inch slices and bake 10 minutes more or to desired crispness.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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