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
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 freshly ground white pepper
3/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 stick butter, at room temperature
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.