Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a microwave safe container, melt 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate on 50% power. In a small bowl combine instant coffee and hot water. Stir to dissolve granules by mixing with a small spoon. Set aside. Place anise seeds in a small Ziploc bag, and with a heavy bottomed pan, gently pound to break up and slightly crush the seeds--this will help to release the natural oils and make the seeds more aromatic.
In a mixing bowl combine butter, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and anise. Beat on medium low speed for 1 minute until mixture resembles a course crumb. Add egg and coffee mixture and beat on low speed to combine. Add melted chocolate and mix on low (making sure to stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl). Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and cherries and mix again. Chill dough in freezer for 15-20 minutes until firm or refrigerate for an hour.
Scoop 1 tablespoon portions of dough and roll into a ball. Dough will be slightly sticky. Chill dough again for at least 10 minutes.
Put both sugar in two separate plates or shallow bowls. Place each cookie in granulated sugar and roll to coat all sides. Then place cookie in confectioners sugar and roll to coat. Place on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining cookies.
Bake for 5-6 minutes - Rotate tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes being careful not to over bake. Cookie will be chewy on the edges but soft on the inside.
* You can substitute 1 teaspoon brewed coffee for the teaspoon of instant coffee granules and 1/2 teaspoon hot water.
Cook's Notes: The baking time of 5-6 minutes is if the dough is chilled properly as instructed and then baked. The baking time would be less if the dough was warm when it went into the oven. If the cookie is over baked it will be dry all the way through.
Depending on the time of year you can substitute the cherries for other dried fruits that would work well in this recipe: dried apricots, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries.
Per Serving: 84 calories;2.8 g fat;
15.8 g carbohydrates;
1 g protein;
10 mg cholesterol;
38 mg sodium.