Fennel & Orange Shortbread
Center rack in oven; preheat to 350°F.Advertisement
In a bowl combine flour and cornstarch. In a large mixer bowl combine sugar and orange zest; rub together until sugar is moist. Toss in the fennel seeds; rub into the sugar. Add the butter, powdered sugar, and salt; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, scraping down bowl as needed. Add dry ingredients all at once, beating on low speed until mixture resembles a crumble topping that holds together when pinched. (This takes longer than you think: For the first 3 minutes or so the dough will look more like oatmeal.)
Gently knead dough until ball comes together. Shape into a disk; place between sheets of parchment paper. Roll into an 8-inch circle. (Ragged edges are fine.) Lift off the top sheet and slide the dough, still on the bottom sheet, onto a baking sheet. Use a fork to prick all the way through the dough in a spoke pattern to form 12 wedges. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Bake shortbread about 20 minutes (rotate baking sheet front to back after 10 minutes) or just until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Using a knife or a pizza wheel, cut along the fork marks. Cool on baking sheet.