A Match Made in Chocolate: Chocolate Butter Cookies with Anise Hyssop

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You can use both the leaves and the flowers of anise hyssop, but the flowers have a higher oil content and a stronger taste. You may also use tarragon or fennel for a similar anise flavor. Mint or lavender also work in place of anise- flavored herbs. Store cookies in a tin for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to two months.

• 1/3 cup anise hyssop fresh flowers and bracts, or leaves (or use 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon or 1/3 cup fresh fennel)
• 1 cup sugar
• 12 ounces unsalted butter, softened
• 1 extra-large egg
• 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted in a double boiler or microwave
• 2 cups unbleached white flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine the anise hyssop and sugar in the food processor and pulse until well blended. Cream the butter into the sugar mixture. Beat in the egg and the chocolate. Gradually mix in the flour and salt. The dough will be soft.

2. Divide the dough into 2 parts and wrap each in plastic wrap. Shape the plastic-wrapped dough into two cylinders about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill the rolls for an hour, or place in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove the plastic wrap and slice the dough into 1/4-inch rounds. Place the cookies on ungreased baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies brown. Remove cookies from the baking sheets while they’re hot and cool them on wire racks. Makes about 5 dozen cookies

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