This is one of those treats that make you go "hmmmmm, what is in this?" In a good way. These are very unique cookies with hints of a licorice flavor from the fennel seed. Don't let that turn you off if you don't like licorice, it's very subtle. Perfect for a mid-afternoon snack with your coffee or tea.
Pine Nut Cookies
by Giada De Laurentiis
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup pine nuts
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, fennel seed, and salt in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour and mix just until blended.
Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into an 8-inch-long log. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line heavy large baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. Cut the dough log crosswise into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly apart. Press the pine nuts decoratively atop the cookies. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 15 minutes.
On another note, do you remember the fitness program The Firm? Those super skinny totally buffed out girls who hardly broke a sweat as they cheered you through the workout. I dusted off my old DVD and step last night. I actually got a pretty good sweat going. I think I'll be adding to my Jillan rotation. Do you have any old fitness videos? I'm pretty sure my mom still has one of the old Jane Fonda videos.