Day 9: Holiday Cookies (Part 1)

The December issue of Bon Appétit has Speculoos Buttons (the most adorable cookies EVER!) on the cover. Something I’m sure Santa would like to find on a plate in your house during his visit. They are not only beautiful to look at, but also deliciously spicy and festive. They also pack up and travel quite well so would be perfect as a hostess gift.

For about 90 small cookies you will need:

2 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is better if you have it!)
1/8 tsp cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar (preferably light)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp molasses (preferably light or mild)
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white
Colored sanding sugar (optional, but recommended!)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt & cloves.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, white sugar & molasses and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until fully blended.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl and divide into thirds. Roll each piece into an approximately 8″ log, wrap in plastic wrap and pop them in the freezer for at least two hours, preferably overnight. If you want them to look SUPER perfect, you can remove the logs from the freezer and re-roll them on your counter after they have chilled for about an hour.

When you are ready to bake them off, preheat your oven to 375.

Only take one log out of the freezer at a time so they stay chilled. Whisk the egg white together with a few drops of water to make an egg wash. Brush the log thoroughly and roll in colored sugar until coated. Slice off the very ends of the log so they are flat, and slice the log into 1/4″ rounds (you should end up with about 30 per log).

Lay them out on a cookie sheet on top of some parchment paper and pop back into the freezer while you slice the other logs.

Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown and almost firm in the center.

In the meantime, you can make the glaze.

Combine 2 cups of powdered sugar with 7 tsp of cold water, mix until smooth.

When the cookies have cooled, place a dollop of glaze on top of each one (if you want to get really precise you can use a pastry bag and pipe it on). Glaze 4 or 5 cookies at a time and then top with sprinkles or other decor while the glaze is still wet. I didn’t end up getting silver dragees as they actually aren’t edible… and are illegal in the state of California (yikes). Silver sparkling sugar works just as well!

Give the glaze at least 30 minutes to set, then serve or package up for friends.

photo-7

Let’s see what treats Amy has baking tomorrow!

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