Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Spice Cookies

Today was our day to go to the library to get Christmas books but we agreed Savannah wasn't yet well-enough so we traded in today's Christmas calendar activity for baking cookies, which was not a hard sell! Here's our recipe for Christmas Spice Cookies - kind of a hybrid between spice cookies/ginger snaps and sugar cookies. It's a great one for using up all the colored holiday sugars in your baking cabinet that seem to last for years otherwise.

Christmas Spice Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheets with butter or line with baking paper.

  • 1c unsalted butter
  • 1c packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg (plus an egg yolk)
  • 1 Tb vegetable oil

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and blend.

  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour (scant)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse Kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp if you use any other kind of salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • course granulated sugar with or without coloring

Sift together all of the dry ingredients reserving the course granulated sugar for rolling the dough in.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until incorporated then roll into small balls to dip or roll in the coarse granulated sugar before arranging on the baking sheet. These balls will "melt" like little snow balls in the warm oven to flatten so give them plenty of room on the baking sheets. Bake for 9-13 minutes depending on size of balls. 11 minutes usually does the trick for us.

Notes: The cookies should come out crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. For a spicier cookie, increase the cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon to 1 tsp each. You could also omit the coarse sugar and bake them plain or drizzle a homemade icing on top. Enjoy them before Santa does!

Here's one happy little Santa's helper, even if she is not yet at 100% today.

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