Sunday, January 16, 2011

Still With the Baking

Yeah, ok, so most people have put their last sheet of cookies in the oven for at least a few months, we are still baking around here. B gave me this book for my birthday. It's been said before, but this is a gorgeous book. I eyeballed a lot of these recipes when they were put up online last year, but I'm glad to have them in hand. Although there are goofy number of jam filled affairs, choice ingredients like dates, figs, and sesame seeds show up and make me happy. The cookie in my palm up there is technically referred to as a Speculaa, but we have renamed them Spicy Delicious Cookies (we like Spicy Delicious Things), because sorry, the given name reminds me of a speculum. Righty-o. Anyway, these immediately joined my short list of kickass cookie recipes. They are powerfully spicy, perfectly crisp and chewy, and not too sweet. With notable exceptions (Uncle Gonzo, I am talking to you) I disapprove of mailing cookies around, but I actually think these taste better with age so they might be a good candidate for the postal delivery. They are also a snap to make:

Sift together:
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat together:
1 cup butter (two sticks)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar (add a slosh of molasses if you don't have this)
3 tablespoons rum, whiskey, or milk

Gradually add the flour mixture until well combined. Turn onto counter and knead lightly to gather together. Roll into rectangle 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Cut into shapes. (Here the recipe says to press blanched almonds into the dough. I have this thing with blanched almonds: I think they are gross. We tried these with regular almonds and pretty much decided that we prefer these nut-free. Do your thing.) Brush lightly with egg whites, bake at 375 for 10 minutes (or 12-15 if you want a totally crunch cookie). They'll set up quite a bit after you take them off of the cookie sheets.

In other news worth reporting: this kid is raring to go in the locomotion department. So far only backwards (see baby under the couch). It is so awesome to watch him figure this stuff out. Not as awesome to stumble into his room at four in the morning to find him pissed about trying to crawl, but whatevah, he's gotta get him time in when it suits.

Smooches about you all.


Ashley K said...

Great news in the locomotion department! Baby Etta turns 8 months on the 20th and she still hasn't put the moves together. She tries often, but gets frustrated and faceplants into the floor and cries. Poor thing. I wish I could help her figure it out, but she will get it soon enough!

queenbeehoney said...

Those look positively yummy. I just renewed all my spices last week, and the only thing I don't have is ground anise seeds.

The rascal is more adorable than ever and I miss seeing every new thing. He is the King of Expression!

Heather said...

Mummy, just buy whole seeds and then grind them in your coffee grinder! Do you have the kind you can do that with?

Anna Allen said...

heather! you are making me want to bake christmas cookies again! they look deelish. and baby is growing so fast! what a cutie cute boy he is! seriously adorable. :) xo

queenbeehoney said...

Made the cookies today! Still didn't have anise seeds, so I left them out. And instead of rolling them out, I rolled the dough into two logs and refrigerated, then cut into little rounds 1/8 inch thick. Very spicy tasty little suckers! Thanks for the recipe.

cake said...

painfully adorable kid ya got there!

i personally need a goofy number of jam filled affairs, on account of all the jam we have squirreled away in the pantry from the summer fruits.

the winter is for baking.