Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn Spice Cookies

You'll really love this spice cookie with its one spice that tastes
like a whole palette of spices! It's perfect for getting ready for
those cool Autumn nights. With a cup of spiced Chai tea
you'll be in spice islands heaven!
Well, here it is the beginning of October and we've had a heat break for about a week in the desert! It's only been in the 90's. Unfortunately, our weather report indicates some triple digit heat returning this week. Sigh.

To make it worse, my nephew posted on Facebook that he, his wife and my sister were on their way to the mountains of North Carolina to pick apples and get pumpkins. He even posted a picture and it looked so wonderfully cool up there. Oh well, we'll suffer through here. Honestly, though I still can't get used to 80 or 85 degrees on Halloween.

Regardless, I persevere with the Autumnal spirit by baking some delicious Autumn Spice Cookies. These guys are loosely adapted from an old Amish recipe. The best way to describe them is somewhat like a faux gingersnap but softer and chewier. Amazingly, they don't contain ginger. Instead I use an old standby spice - Allspice. If you aren't familiar with this handy little spice you should be. It's one of those spices that became a big part of the English spice palette in the 17th century.

While Allspice makes its appearance in other cuisine in savory dishes, in America and particularly the south, it is primarily used in desserts.  That's mainly because the flavor closely resembles a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. But as the French say, there's a little je ne sais quoi to this spice. There's the faintest hint of pepper flavor. When used in this cookie that's what sets it apart from a run of the mill spice cookie. It's that little hit of heat you get as you chew. Of course, there's no mystery to that heat since it is known in other areas as Jamaican Pepper or Myrtle Pepper and in raw form resembles peppercorns.

You'll really love this spice cookie with its one spice that tastes like a whole palette of spices! It's perfect for getting ready for those cool Autumn nights. With a cup of spiced Chai tea you'll be in spice islands heaven!


Autumn Spice Cookies

Recipe by Buck Bannister

A spice cookie with its one spice that tastes like a whole palette of spices! It's perfect for getting ready for those cool Autumn nights. With a cup of spiced Chai tea you'll be in spice islands heaven!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. maple extract
  • 3-4 tbs. granulated sugar for rolling
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, honey and maple extract and beat on medium speed until combined.
  3. In separate bowl whisk together the flour, soda, salt, and allspice.
  4. With mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture beating after each addition.
  5. Finish combining ingredients with a wooden spoon and shape cookies into balls using a 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons cookie scoop. Roll the balls in the granulated sugar and place on baking sheets. (Note: cookies spread so on a standard half sheet pan do 3 rows of 3 to avoid the cookies touching when baking.)
  6. Bake until cookies are browned on edges and tops are crackled - about 10-12 minutes. It's better to under bake these than over bake!
  7. Allow cookies to cool on pan for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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