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Boozy Salted Fennel Pollen Shortbread {Cookie Swap} #fbcookieswap

When I was trying to decide on what cookies I would make for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2012, I toyed around with making my friend’s family recipe for Peloponnesian Kourabiedes, an ouzo-scented version of these traditional Greek butter cookies enveloped in a blanket of powdered sugar. I also considered a gingerbread thumbprint cookie with a scoop of lemon curd in the middle because those two flavors embody holiday goodness in my mind.

But, in the end, I decided to treat my cookie swap recipients to a variation of my Salted Fennel Pollen Shortbread. I added ouzo! Hence, the "boozy" part of the cookie. 

I love – and I do mean love – fennel pollen. It’s the equivalent of culinary fairy dust, as far as I’m concerned. A light sprinkling of this adds a licorice zing and a honey sweetness to anything it touches.

I packaged up a dozen each to Amber of Bluebonnets & Brownies; Amishi of Naive Cook Cooks; and Kathy of The Cheap Gourmet. Ladies, I hope you enjoyed my creation!

I was originally inspired to put fennel pollen in shortbreads when I received a packet of Botanical Garden's cookies in my November Petit Amuse Sampler box. I started off with my prize-winning Mint Tea Shortbreads, then I found a recipe on the FoodShed blog, incorporating both the cornmeal and sea salt from that recipe.

10 T butter
1/2 C packed organic brown sugar
2 T ouzo
2 t fennel pollen
1 egg, beaten
1-1/2 C white whole wheat flour
1/4 C finely ground cornmeal
granulated sugar and more fennel pollen, for rolling
sea salt, for topping

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in fennel pollen and lemon zest until well combined. Beat in the egg, then carefully fold in the flour.

Roll the dough into a long cylinder. Flatten the cylinder into a rectangular shape, pressing granulated sugar and more fennel into the sides. Put the dough in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour, until the dough is firm enough to slice.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough cylinder widthwise into 1/4" slices and place, slightly apart, on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with large flakes of sea salt and bake for 15-18 minutes until slightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

This was such a fun project...and for such a great cause. I will definitely participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013! Be a good cookie and join the fun next year.

Here's a special message from the Cookies for Kids' Cancer team:
"The Cookies for Kids' Cancer team wants to extend a big thank you for participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. By simply swapping cookies, you helped raise funds for pediatric cancer research, bringing HOPE to children battling this ruthless disease. Being a Good Cookie does not have to end here. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a 365-day a year non-profit, with bake sales happening in all 50 states. Simply go to to learn more about the cause, to register to host an event or  send cookies to your friends and family this holiday season. And thank you for being a Good Cookie!"

Funny stories and Feedback:
I was assigned to ship to Amishi, of Naive Cook Cooks, and she was assigned to ship to me! Her cookies were lovely. And this is what she emailed to me - "Dearest Camilla, Yes, I received yours and I must tell you that they were delicious!!! My husband loved them and we finished them in no time." Hooray.

Amber, of Bluebonnets & Brownies, tweeted, "...hubs says BEST SHORTBREAD EVER. He loves licorice." Sweet. It didn't even occur to me - in my fennel pollen intoxication - that some people might not like licorice. Whoops. Glad they do.

And, as if the first coincidence with Amishi weren't strange enough, I was assigned to ship to Kathy, of The Cheap Gourmet, and she was also assigned to ship to me! Her potato chip cookies were unexpected, crisp, and delightful and arrived just in time. She tweeted, "Received and devoured Boozy Salted Fennel Pollen Shortbread. You had me at Ouzo! Thank you and happy holidays." Me, too. Ouzo makes me weak in the a good way.


  1. Camilla, thanks again for such delicious shortbread. My husband is still in love with it weeks later, and begging me to make it. I just have to get my hands on some fennel pollen...

  2. Camilla, These cookies were sooooo good! I've never tasted fennel pollen before, but am definitely a fan now. Thank you for introducing me to something new. I loved your packaging and the time you took to create labels and the ingredient list. You probably noticed I liked your format so much that I copied it :-) Glad to have connected with you and look forward to following you on FB and Twitter. Happy Holidays! Kathy @


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