An Instagram friend, when they found out about this project, tipped me off to the news-to-me that apparently fennel grows like crazy in the Mosswood neighborhood of Oakland! I did not confirm this information but rather immediately used it for inspiration for my next #sweetonoakland cookie that I baked back in December (yes, I'm catching up, finally!). Hence, the The Mosswood: A Vegan Fennel Seed Shortbread Tea Cookie:
Other than the fennel seed inspiration, that's about it for the connection to the Mosswood area, although I suppose you could draw some comparisons to the changing dynamics of this and most other neighborhoods in Oakland (did I mention this cookie is vegan?). Here's the how-to if you're interested in making a batch of these yourself.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup high quality olive oil
1 pinch salt
Powdered sugar to decorate
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grind the fennel seed to a powder in a mortar or use a spice blender. In a bowl, mix the flour with the sugars, fennel seed powder and the salt. Add the olive oli. Knead until you have a smooth dough. Roll out dough on a flat surface and cut with a cookie cutter.
Small, simple shapes work best because the dough is brittle. I used small ornaments because it was almost Christmas. Place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Place on a cooling rack and decorate with powdered sugar. Makes 2-3 dozen. Enjoy with all of your vegan friends!