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Spice Cookies Tested Recipe

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These Spice Cookies are quite unique with their hard and crunchy, almost brittle texture, that will remind you of a biscotti. Perfect with coffee. I love their spicy flavor that comes from ground allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and even a little black pepper. They also have a nice almond flavor, as ground almonds are added to the batter plus sprinkled on top of each cookie. Even more almond flavor is given to these cookies in the way of pure almond extract. Spice Cookies have a long shelf life which makes them ideal for gift giving. 

 

This recipe is one I adapted from Maida Heatter's 'Brand-New Book of Great Cookies'. What also makes this Spice Cookie unique is that corn syrup is added to the batter which makes the dough quite pliable, almost like a tootsie roll, so it is easy to roll out and cut into cookies. Now, corn syrup is a thick, sweet syrup made from cornstarch that is available both clear (light) and brown (dark). For this recipe we are using dark corn syrup, which contains a caramel color and flavor which gives the syrup a darker color and a deeper flavor than light corn syrup. It is sold in glass or plastic bottles. However, if you can't find corn syrup you could use golden syrup instead. When you roll the dough it must be rolled quite thin as you want the baked cookies to have a snappy crunch and make sure not to  over bake the cookies as they will become a little too hard and brittle. These Spice Cookies are very addictive and it is hard to eat just one.

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Spice Cookies: Place the corn syrup, sugar, and butter in a large saucepan (6 cup capacity). Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Let the mixture boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Toast the almonds for about 8-10 minutes, or until the nuts are lightly colored and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

In a medium sized bowl sift, or whisk, the flour, baking soda, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Remove about 20 of the toasted almonds and chop them into small pieces. Set aside to use as garnish for the cookies.

Place the remainder of the almonds in a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Add about 1/4 cup of the sifted dry ingredients and process for about 30 seconds or until finely ground. Place the finely ground nut mixture and dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

When the corn syrup cools to tepid, stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon rind. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for about an hour or until the dough is firm enough to roll out.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of l/8 inch. Use a 3 inch (8 cm) round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Transfer cookies to the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, and sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly colored.  Do not over bake or they will be too hard. Cool cookies on wire racks and then store in an airtight container.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Adapted From:

Heatter, Maida. Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies. Random House. New York: 1995.

 

Spice Cookies:

2/3 cup (160 ml) dark corn syrup

1/2 cup (105 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter

3/4 cup (100 grams) whole blanched (skinned) almonds

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon finely ground black or white pepper

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)

 

 
 
     
 

 

 

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