I love the malted nuttiness that candied fennel seeds give cookies, not to mention their bitter aniseed flavor. In my mind it's that candy coating, the same way M&Ms somehow lend their own taste to cookie dough (beyond just chocolate). But these are just theories. Speaking of which, feel free to replace the 1/2 cup fennel seeds (which you can buy on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com...) with M&Ms. Don't skimp on whipping the butter, sugar, and eggs for the full 10 minutes—that's how you'll get the gorgeous crinkles and unutterable chewiness, which is my preferred chocolate chip cookie texture.
Adapted slightly from some blogger recipe called "Jaay's Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies." —Eric Kim
stick unsalted butter, absolutely at room temperature
packed dark brown sugar
egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups
dark chocolate chips
rainbow candy-coated fennel seeds
Flaky sea salt, for topping
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift the dry ingredients (flour and baking soda) and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars for a good 5 minutes; add the vanilla, eggs, and salt and cream for another 5 minutes. To these wet ingredients, stir in the dry ingredients, along with the chocolate chips and fennel seeds.
Scoop dough with a medium-sized ice cream scoop onto a couple half-sheet pans lined with parchment paper (these are pretty fat cookies, so space them out, 6 to a pan).
Place both sheet pans in the oven and bake cookies for 15 minutes. Once out of the oven, top cookies with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
Eric Kim is the Senior Editor and 'Table for One' columnist at Food52. Formerly the Digital Manager of FoodNetwork.com, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson Kim. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway.