Sunday, April 5, 2015

cornmeal fennel cookies

Yes, I know.  That sounds like an odd combination for a cookie, but I wanted to try something different.  And I wanted to use up some more ingredients in the spirit of my Eat Through the Kitchen Challenge:  fennel seed and cornmeal.

Awhile back I cleaned out my spices.  I tossed all the old ones, which were really outdated, and bought new ones to take their place.  I also added some ones I've never used before.  Since I buy spices at the dollar store usually, or buy the Badia brand (in the Spanish food isle at the store) ,I didn't have to spend any significant money to replenish my stock.  Well, somehow I ended up with two containers of fennel seed.  I have no idea why I bought fennel seed since I have no clue what it's used for; however, I recently discovered it's used in sausage making.

I also had a bag of cornmeal haunting the cabinet.  Not sure why I bought that, either.  I'm sure there was a recipe I wanted to try at some point so I bought it.  (This is why I'm doing my Eat Through the Kitchen Challenge!)

I went in search of a recipe using fennel seed and this is the one I found. Since it used cornmeal, too, all the better.  The recipe I found was actually reviewed by someone on The Kitchn website.  They said that the recipe they tried needed some added milk, because the dough wouldn't bind together.  So, I followed the recipe and added the milk.  It also called for the fennel seed to be coarsely ground, which means using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.  I was at my dad's house this weekend for Easter and was able to borrow my mom's mortar and pestle.

I made the recipe and included 3/4 cup of milk after mixing the dry ingredients into the dough.  I then chilled the dough, but only for about an hour and half since I had to get them finished to take them somewhere. The result was that they spread quite a bit. Next time I make this I will chill the dough for much longer.

I have to admit I was skeptical, but they tasted good.  They have a nice fennel flavor, just a hint of sweetness, and a bit of a crunchy texture inside because of the cornmeal, while still being chewy.  I would make these again.

Here's the recipe I used.  I added 3/4 cup of milk before chilling the dough:  Cornmeal Fennel Cookies
Here's the review of the recipe by The Kitchn:  Review

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