Cornmeal gives these tender cookies a pleasing texture and slightly nutty taste. Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus at least 2 hours chilling time. Notes: Lightly grind fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour, sifted
3 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
How to Make It
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add fennel seeds and salt. Add egg and beat to combine.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Add these dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition. Shape dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 375°. Break off small bits of dough and roll into balls about 1 1/2 in. wide. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gently flatten each cookie using the bottom of a water glass (dip the glass in water to prevent sticking). Bake cookies for 8 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. Transfer cookies to cooling racks.