This delicious cookie is just unusual enough to pique interest but not weird enough to offend traditional cookie lovers. Fennel, with its hint of anise and licorice flavors, brings a zesty flavor profile to an otherwise ordinary sugar cookie.   It’s also a wonderful accompaniment to zesty reds and floral whites!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ¼  cup brown sugar (light or dark)

  • 1 egg

  • 1  Tbsp lemon zest

  •   tsp fennel seeds

  • 2  Tbsp amaretto or almond extract

  • 2  cups flour

  • 1  tsp baking powder

  • ½  tsp salt

  • ¼  cup chopped pecans (walnuts are fine)

  • ½  cup chopped pistachios (put some aside for topping)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat together butter and sugars with a hand or stand mixer; add egg and beat until fluffy.

Add lemon zest, almond extract, fennel seeds.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture

Remove from mixer and stir in nuts.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and drop—about 2 inches apart—onto ungreased baking sheets.

Flatten balls slightly and sprinkle on remaining pistachios.

Bake c. 10 minutes until just beginning to brown (you need to keep a sharp eye on them).

After cooling c. 10 minutes remove to cooling racks and cool completely.

Will keep for about 10 days in an airtight container; you can also freeze them by wrapping completely cooled cookies in cling wrap, then foil. Thaw in refrigerator.

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