This braided version of taralli, made with honey, anise extract and anise seeds is dipped in a confectioners sugar glaze to give it a more festive look than the more rustic ones (see "Taralli" in cookie section).
These are given as gifts for a baptism, communion or confirmation. The dough is made quickly in a food processor or stand mixer.
Makes 36 braids
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
4 extra large eggs
1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract
1 tablespoon anise seeds, ground
4 to 4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3-4 tablespoons Half & half or milk
Whirl the eggs in a food processor or blend them in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add the olive oil, honey, anise extract, and anise seeds and whirl or blend the ingredients.
Combine 4 cups of the flour, the salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Slowly add the mixture to the food processor or mixer and whirl or mix to form a soft dough; it should be the consistency of play dough, moist and not too dry or it will be difficult to roll. If more flour is needed add it a tablespoon at a time.
Knead the dough on a work surface to smooth it. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and work with one at a time; keep the rest under damp paper towels.
Roll each piece into an 18-inch rope and cut eighteen 1-inch pieces from each rope.
Roll two pieces out into an 8-inch rope. Attach the two pieces at one end and braid them like pigtails. Bring the two ends together and pinch them closed.
Place the taralli on the baking sheets, spacing them 1-inch apart.
Bake the taralli for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned. While the taralli bake, make the glaze in a bowl by combining the sugar and the Half & Half.
Remove the taralli from the baking sheets and while they are still warm, dip the tops of each one in the confectioners sugar glaze and place on a cooling rack to dry completely. Store in an airtight container.
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