Winter Spice Cookies

leckerli cookies

Happy Thanksgiving! After a three-month absense, I have returned. I must warn you, updates will be infrequent (if at all) until 2009 at least. I’m in an awkward housing situation with an even more awkward kitchen. Actually, I haven’t baked anything since my many moves, and I’m riding on recipes that I did long ago.

Any person who cooks with Nutella (spreadable chocolate) is a genius, and judging from Pierre Hermé’s Nutella tart, the man is a kitchen god. He is such a master of contrasting flavors and textures that his leckerli recipe called out to me, even though it contains no chocolate. The combination of citrus, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg is haunting—and novel. Unfortunately, the texture is what you’d expect from a no-fat-added cookie: chewy and borderline stale.

So I kept the flavors but contrasted them with creamy white chocolate in my chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you’re craving warm, tingly spices this time of year but don’t want to resort to gingerbread, these cookies will turn heads.

Winter Spice Cookies

Makes 3 dozen cookies
Adapted from Pierre Hermé’s leckerli and my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe

For an extra hit of flavor, these cookies are dusted with more spices when they’re hot out of the oven (a trick from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich). I made these so long ago that I can’t quite remember the proportion of spices/honey. Apologies if something goes wrong. If you run into trouble, please leave a comment here, and I’ll see if I can backtrack.

1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch nutmeg
pinch ginger
pinch cloves
pinch freshly ground white pepper
3/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/3 cup finely diced candied lemon and orange rind
1/4 c chopped toasted almonds, preferably blanched
1 c white chocolate chips (with real cocoa butter)

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, white and black peppers, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, honey, butter, egg, and vanilla.

In a separate medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and spice mixture, reserving a couple pinches for later. Add the flour mixture, lemon zest, candied citrus rind, almonds, and white chocolate to the wet ingredients. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-9 min, or JUST until the edges begin to brown.

While the cookies are still hot, sprinkle them with the reserved spice mixture.

Comments (6)      Email Email      Print Print


  1. Jen of a2eatwrite said,

    Good to see you back, and wonderful recipe! I hope the housing situation gets easier.

    November 27, 2008 at 9:24 pm

  2. Ling Ling said,

    Hooray! my favorite food blogger is back 🙂

    December 2, 2008 at 9:42 pm

  3. Cakespy said,

    You’re back, with some extreme deliciousness!! I can’t wait to try these cookies, they are right up my alley!

    December 10, 2008 at 2:00 am

  4. Anna said,

    Welcome back!

    December 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  5. RecipeGirl said,

    These look like a really different, fun cookie recipe. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    December 15, 2008 at 9:12 am

  6. Jason said,

    Thanks for the recipe. Looks like a fun one to make (and tasty too!).

    January 4, 2009 at 10:52 am