I used to make these biscuits - minus the fennel and stem ginger - with my granny when I was a child. They conjure up memories of oven gloves and AGA doors, of cups of Darjeeling and Assam from enormous china teacups in front of the fire, and of endless games of Uno and Ludo while we munched on the biscuits that we'd made earlier.
The fennel fronds are a by-product of Gluten-Free Girl's fennel syrup recipe: I didn't want to throw out all the lovely fronds after making the syrup, so I spread them on a board, then scattered them in sugar and dried them out a bit, before chucking them into the biscuit dough for an extra anise-y, sugary kick. Delicious. —QuasiSiciliana
Cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.
Break the egg into the bowl with the butter and sugar and beat in until well-combined.
Stir in the ginger powder, fennel seeds and salt.
Sift the flour into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
When the flour is mixed in, add the fennel fronds and stir with a wooden spoon to distribute them as evenly as possible throughout the dough.
Line a baking tray with parchment, then take a scant tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on the baking parchment and flatten the top slightly, then press a piece of stem ginger into the top of the biscuit.
Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving plenty of room for the biscuits to spread - they will end up being about 8-10cm (4.5 - 5") across.
Bake in a preheated 150C (300F) oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for a couple of minutes to harden up, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.