White Chocolate Chunk Shortbread with Caramelised Fennel Seed

December 7 2021

It's challenging to convey just how good these shortbread cookies are; you have to try them. They're super easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients.

The shortbread has a buttery, crunchy yet soft and almost chewy-like texture, along with pops of delicious caramelised white chocolate chunks — which alone are worth making these for. Then, add the fennel sugar sprinkled over the top with a little flaky sea salt, and these go to another level.

If you're not planning to bake the cookie dough straight away, you can store it rolled in cling wrap for a few days in the fridge. When you're ready to bake, simply allow the dough to rest on the bench for roughly 30 minutes before slicing and baking.

Enjoy the recipe, and as always, please let me know if you make it @gatherandfeast and feel free to ask any questions.




White Chocolate Chunk Shortbread with Caramelised Fennel Seed  |  Gather & Feast

White Chocolate Chunk Shortbread with Caramelised Fennel Seed  |  Gather & Feast


Egg-free, Vegetarian
30 minutes preparation time + 30 minutes cooking time (+ chilling time)
  • 225g salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raw castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 150g white chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • Flaky sea salt


  2. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Fold in the plain flour, rice flour, and a pinch of salt until well combined.
  4. Gently fold in the white chocolate chunks.
  5. Roll the dough into a thick log, cover it with cling wrap, then seal it tightly.
  6. Place the wrapped dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours and until the dough is firm.
  7. While the dough is chilling, let's prepare the fennel sugar.
  8. In a mortar and pestle, grind fennel seeds and sugar until the seeds are crushed, and the sugar has a greenish tint. Alternatively, chop the fennel seeds and mix with sugar in a small bowl.
  9. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
  10. Once the dough is firm, slice it into approximately 2cm thick rounds.
  11. Arrange the slices on two parchment paper-lined baking trays.
  12. Sprinkle the fennel sugar and a touch of sea salt flakes over the shortbread slices.
  13. Bake at 180°C/350°F for 12 minutes.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow the shortbread to cool on the trays for 30 minutes.
  15. Transfer the shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely for an additional 30-60 minutes before serving.
  16. Store the cooled shortbread in an airtight container in the pantry. Enjoy!



  • Chilling the Dough: The chilling time is crucial for the shortbread to hold its shape during baking. Be patient and allow the dough to firm up in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  • Fennel Sugar Preparation: If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can roughly chop the fennel seeds with a knife before mixing them with sugar.
  • Baking Time: Keep an eye on the shortbread during the 12-minute baking time. The edges should be lightly golden, indicating they are done. Overbaking can result in a dry texture.
  • Cooling Process: Allow the shortbread to cool on the trays for 30 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This gradual cooling helps them set properly.
  • Storage: Once completely cooled, store the shortbread in an airtight container in the pantry. This helps maintain their freshness.

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I’m Ashley, welcome to Gather & Feast. Here you'll discover wholesome, and nutritious recipes, baked treats, and delicious desserts. x

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