Fennel and fig shortbread bar. (Photo, Sian Richards.)
1 1/2 cups
, at room temperature
PREHEAT oven to 350F. Spray 2 8 × 8-in. metal baking pans with oil and line each with overhanging parchment.
STIR flour with figs, fennel and salt in a medium bowl.
BEAT butter with sugar in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, until smooth, 1 min. Gradually stir in half of flour mixture, until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture, kneading with your hands, until dough forms a ball.
DIVIDE dough in half. Press a portion of dough evenly into each prepared pan. Using a fork, prick dough all over.
BAKE in centre of oven until golden, 28 to 30 min. Cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour. Remove shortbread from pans to a cutting board, then cut each into 16 bars.