“It’s cookie time!”
Regardless that the line was stolen from “Troop Beverly Hills”, it is indeed cookie time. Holiday cookies, that is. I state honestly that I dislike parts of the baking process, mainly all parts leading up to eating the freshly baked cookies. I am averse to rolled cookies, because the idea of flour everywhere doesn’t sound remotely appealing. This is post one of a three cookie experience. None of the cookies are specific to holidays, and can be eaten any time of the year, which is how I enjoy my cookies: year round. They are all delicious and mix together heat (cayenne), sweet (cinnamon), and crunch (turbadino sugar).
Spice Cookies with Garam Masala
This recipe is taken from the Chez Panisse cookbook, with the addition of garam masala and some sugar sprinkled on top of the cookies. These cookies turn out a beautiful dark golden color, thanks to the molasses. I enjoy them on their own, or with a cup of chai tea. I’m planning on crumbling them over vanilla ice cream, because that will be divine.
2 c. flour
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
11 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses (light is preferred, but I used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Molasses, which gave the cookies a darker color)
1 large egg at room temperature
Coarse sugar, I used turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of the cookies. This step can be skipped, but it adds a lovely sparkle to the cookies.
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Sift them together, if you’d like, but stirring a few times with a fork will work well here.
2. Using an electric or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffly. Be sure to scrape the butter clinging to the sides of the bowl.
3. Mix in molasses, vanilla, and egg into the wet ingredients. Once combined, mix in the dry ingredients a little at time, until the dough is smooth.
4. Divide this dough into two portions, roll on a slightly floured surface until each portion is about 2 inches. If the rounds are 2.5 inches, really, it’s no big deal. Wrap each in plastic wrap, rolling the wrapped rounds to smooth them out. Freeze at least overnight. *If you’re in a rush, refrigerate until firm, maybe 3 to 4 hours.
5. Preheat the over to 350 degrees. If you have parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, line two baking sheets with those. If you don’t have either, put a dab or two of olive oil on a paper towel and rub over the baking sheets. This works just as well.
6. Slice the cookies about 1/3 inch rounds with a sharp knife (a dull knife works, too, but sharp is a little easier). Sprinkle one side of the cookie with the coarse sugar, if you like. Bake cookies sugar side up, evenly spaced apart.
7. Bake time is about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, the move to a wire rack and cool completely.
Cookies will last about a week in an airtight container, if you don’t eat them all before that. The dough can last about a month in the freezer, so it is great to have on hand if you need a spiced snack.