Baker's Dozen Cookie Challenge Day 10: Lemon, Fennel and Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies

Lemon, Fennel and Olive Oil Shortbread CookiesDay 10 of the Baker’s Dozen Cookie Challenge is savory with Lemon, Fennel and Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies. I enjoy savory cookies and think they are really underused. Not all cookies have to be sweet to be enjoyable.

Lemon, Fennel and Olive Oil Shortbread CookiesToasting the fennel seeds brings the oils up and enhances the flavor, so do not skip that step. They are easy to toast. If you have a toaster oven, pop them on a piece of foil and toast until you smell them and they are lightly browned. Or you can do them in the oven or in a skillet on the stove. Just do watch them closely because they burn quickly.

Lemon, Fennel and Olive Oil Shortbread CookiesUse a good quality extra virgin olive oil with excellent taste for more intensely tasting cookies. I used oil I brought back from Italy to make them special. I also used fresh squeezed lemon juice since I was zesting the lemon anyway. If you want less lemon flavor, just add water instead of the juice.

Lemon, Fennel and Olive Oil Shortbread CookiesThe lemon, fennel and olive blended together so well in this cookie. It is another hit in our family. They are great plain but would also be wonderful on a cheese plate.

Lemon, Fennel and Olive Oil Shortbread CookiesOnly 3 more days of the cookie challenge left to go. It has been fun and I have learned a lot about baking cookies. Always blend the butter and sugar together first, then add the eggs, no matter what the directions say. And for most cookies, chill them before baking and bake on parchment paper, they just work better.

Lemon, Fennel and Olive Shortbread Cookies


Recipe adapted from Craft Marmalade  
 1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
 1/3 cup sugar
 1/2 cup olive oil (good quality)
2 large egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted
Place the egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender and mix well into an emulsion. Gradually add the oil, as you would when making a salad dressing, and blend until thickened.
Pour in the sugar, pulse until well blended.
Combine the flour, salt, fennel seeds and lemon zest in a bowl. Pour in the egg yolk mixture and mix well.
Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and ball in the fridge for at least an hour or until well chilled.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
Lightly sprinkle a clean surface with flour and roll chilled dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out with your choice of shape.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or edges are browning. Do not over bake.
Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.