Orange and Fennel Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I don’t often run amuck spilling secrets all over the place, but there is a completely magical bakery in Reno. (Local folks, get thee to Homage now! Ok?!) It’s cozy. It has good coffee, and all of your traditional bakery goods that any respectable establishment would have. Homage doesn’t stop there, though, and also offers a little groovy weirdness for people who love groovy weirdness.  Exhibit A: a fig and fennel oatmeal cookie that I literally wrote home about (“home” being Food Riot, but whatever) a couple months ago.

All of it, of course, executed expertly and deliciously.

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So here I am. Wreaking havoc and stealing good ideas.

This is part 3 of 3 (for now) of the Orange and Fennel Take Over 10th Kitchen miniseries. Part 1.  Part 2. Coincidentally (because I never have my act together enough to plan these things out), they constitute a main dish, a cocktail, and now, a dessert. If you love the combo as much as I do, make all of these things and invite me over! I promise I won’t cuss in front of your grandpa again.

ANYWAY. Fennel/orange and orange/chocolate are two of my favorite combinations of all time, so naturally, a super-triad of some sort had to be attempted, and it worked well. These things are basically chewy chocolate-oatmeal cookies (although I would staunchly defend the use of raisins here as well), made a thousand times more fragrant and interesting.

The sugar is all brown sugar, because it is a forever-friend to chewy cookies.

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If my proportions in these step-by-step photos look strange, it’s because I just recently (!) figured out that I can, and should, make half-recipes for blogging purposes. (Don’t look at me like that… I bet you’re not always a genius either.)

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 Just picture double the chocolate here, or put on some 3-D glasses. Or get drunk.

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 …As long as you see this and know that it is a good thing about to become even better, we are all on the same page (the delicious one).

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See? So much excellence here.

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This cookie wants an entry visa–into your ridiculously good-looking faces (it also wants me to work on my jokes, but…  One thing at a time).


Orange and Fennel Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Yields 18
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Prep Time
45 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
45 hr
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  2. 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  9. Heaping 1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks
  10. 1 tablespoon orange zest
  11. 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until incorporated and smooth; add the egg and vanilla.
  2. In a smaller container, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir this into the butter mixture, followed by the oats, orange zest, fennel seeds, and chocolate chunks. Mix just until incorporated.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic and chill for 30 minutes or so. This is optional, but does ensure your cookies are thicker. (I've included this dough-chilling time in the prep time above, if you're paying attention to that.)
  4. Drop dough by the spoonful (I use a smallish ice cream scoop) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, about a couple inches apart.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until puffy in the middle and starting to look golden around the edges and bottom (baking time will vary, depending on your oven and whether you chilled the dough). Cool on a wire rack completely.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
10th Kitchen
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  1. jacquie says

    these cookies have me intrigued. I don’t think I have ever tasted fennel before but I don’t tend to think of it as an spice found in sweets. can you describe what it tastes similar too? I found some references that seemed to indicate it was similar to anise. Since I’m not a fan of that spice I’m hesitant to try but then again the cookies look good and I’m always up for an a not “too sweet” cookie.

    • Danguole says

      Hi Jacquie! It tastes sort of like anise/licorice–but I see you’re not fond of anise… So I’d say just skip the fennel. 😉 And these are definitely not too sweet! I don’t like cloying cookies either.

  2. says

    I love that you used the word cloying. Just saying. You’re like the naughty librarian of food-talk. I wish I could remember those words. Stay tuned. Logging it in my brain at the moment.
    Also, I’m not a fan of fennel in savory dishes becuase of the licorice connection, but here – with chocolate and orange. . . yes. Yet another cookie recipe I need to try. Oh – and love the pics. Cookies can be tough, right? Love the arrangement! Or the orangement. Heh, heh. You’re not the only one who can make bad jokes. . . .
    Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} recently posted…Homemade Almond MilkMy Profile

  3. says

    Why yes, I am really, really ridiculously good looking. How kind of your cookies for noticing.

    And you KNOW our hypothetical dinner party would include fennel EVERYTHING, so come on over and please do watch your language in front of grandpa. He’s sensitive like that. You’re in charge of dessert, because these cookies are legit and I want, like, a dozen right now.
    Elizabeth – SugarHero! recently posted…Salted Caramel Hot ChocolateMy Profile

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