Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or foil.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine brandy, anise essence and vanilla. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add dry ingredients and brandy mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the almonds and ground star anise.
Spoon mixture in two 5cm x 30cm lines on prepared trays and then shape into logs using moisted fingertips.
Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees C.
Cut cooled logs on the diagonal into 2cm thick slices using a serrated knife. Lay slices on baking trays.
Bake for about 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes, until dry and slightly brown. Cool completely on cake racks.