Rosemary and Fennel Butter Biscuits
These are an unusual take on a traditional shortbread biscuit. The fennel and rosemary create a delicate flavour, and taste delicious served alongside a cup of tea. This month they have been particularly popular in the cafe with people wanting to avoid overly sweet biscuits after a Christmas of pure sweet-stuff indulgence. We used our own homegrown rosemary and, if it were in season, would have used our own fennel too. Shop bough ingredients work just as well though.
250g salted butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar (plus more to sprinkle)
1 tbsp fennel, chopped
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped then crushed
250g plain flour (plus more to dust)
125g cornflour or rice flour
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (340 F)
Using a large bowl and a wooden spoon, or a handheld electric whisk, or an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar
Add the fennel and rosemary at the last stages of mixing
Sift in the flour and cornflour gradually, mixing briefly between each addition until it binds
Flour your hands and gently kneed until just smooth (do not over-work)
To make the dough easier to roll - and if you have time - wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes
On a floured board, roll out the dough to 5-6mm thick, then cut into your chosen shapes
(If the biscuits are to be frozen, lay the cut outs between sheets of baking parchment in a freezer container. They will need to be defrosted 1 hour before baking)
Place the cut out dough on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar then cool for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack.