As I sit here and look at a half-decorated Christmas tree, I realize that we are officially in the thick of the holidays. Cookies and Christmas just go together, so it makes sense that this Saturday is National Cookie Day. Baking and the holidays are what I know.
Mom and I would spend countless hours at the mixer, oven and stove, it seemed. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, we would make batch after batch of cookies and candies for our friends and family and hoped that the gift of these goodies would bring a smile to their faces.
The magical thing about this time of year is people join together – it just so happens for me, it’s about bringing them together over food. The English word “cookie” is derived from the Dutch word koekie, meaning “little cake.”
Cookies trace as far back to 7th century Persia soon after sugar had become available and grew in popularity. They then spread into Europe by way of Spain and eventually arrived in America in the 17th century.
Types of gingerbread and macaroons were among the popular early American cookies. I wanted to provide a cookie recipe that is easy, delicious and checks a few crave-able boxes. These brown sugar spice cookies are chewy with a crisp edge, caramelly from the brown sugar and lightly spiced.
They are reminiscent of cookie butter and are good morning, noon and night, but then again what cookie isn’t? I like to make a double batch and keep some dough in the fridge so that they can be scooped and baked at any moment.
In the recipe below, we are keeping it simple and rolling the cookies in sugar, but they are equally delicious topped with icing or frosting. Whether you try this recipe or make one of your favorites, celebrate National Cookie Day and take a minute to sit down with your loved ones over a few freshly baked cookies.
Brown Sugar Spice Cookies
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar for rolling
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the softened butter with sugar, molasses, vanilla, spices and salt until lightened in color.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again until the mixture is an even texture and color.
Add the egg and combine.
Scrape the bowl and mix again until well-incorporated.
Blend in the flour, just until combined, making sure not to overmix.
Scoop by rounded tablespoonful and roll in the granulated sugar.
Place the cookies, well-spaced, with about 2 inches between them, on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Flatten the cookies by pressing with a cookie stamp, the bottom of a clean measuring cup or a beverage glass.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 11 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.
Cool and enjoy.
Yield: About 30 small cookies
Local award-winning chef and Rind and Wheat owner Ricky Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.
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