fat free opinions on a food centric life

Dorie Greenspan’s Spice Roll-Out Cookies

At this time of year in particular, when stopping by to visit the site of someone who lives in a more northern region of the country, I’m often indulged with engaging scenes and descriptions of wintery weather.  Narratives filled with tantalizing visions of powdery snow, icicles glistening in the morning light, and brightly colored birds flashing through bare trees lull me into a mood that has me wanting to cozy up with a good book and a hot cup of anything I can get my hands on.

The reverie lasts only briefly as I cast my gaze out the window to see a bright blue sky punctuated by wispy clouds, brilliant green foliage on trees and shrubs, camellias in full bloom, and sea gulls pacing about, waiting for a morning snack.  Those of us who choose to don a scarf most likely do so to make some sort of fashion statement, or to convince ourselves that it truly is December and that as much as we might be a bit chilly in the early morning, by noon, it will be a pleasant 70 degrees.

It makes good sense, then, to consider that snowmen cookies are one way to enjoy the season.  They’re a soft bite of spice that just might surprise you and are guaranteed not to melt on a sunny day.

Dorie Greenspan’s Spice Roll-Out Cookies

  • 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles or other sugar decorations (optional)
  • Royal Icing (optional)

The directions can be found here.

Notes:
  • These are surprisingly wonderful cookies.  I’m not a great fan of gingerbread cookies, but that’s most likely because they can be a bit too sharp in flavor and a bit too crunchy for my taste.  These cookies are neither.  Make sure you don’t over bake them, though.
  • You may have noticed the dried mustard in the ingredient list.  Don’t turn your nose up.  Try it.  Although the uncooked dough is more spicy in flavor than the finished cookie, there is no mustard flavor at all.  It’s a flavor enhancer.  The combination of spices in this recipe is very nice.
  • I found that setting the cut outs on the baking sheet and then in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking works extremely well.
  • If you want to make ornaments of your cookies, use a regular drinking straw to press a hole in the cookie before baking.
  • I made the dough for these cookies 2 days before I got around to making them.   Wrapped in plastic and pressed into a disk before chilling works well.  A quick pop in the freezer between cutting and re-rolling also works.
  • I used huge cookie cutters for this recipe.  Three snowmen, three Christmas trees, and 13 stars about 3-4 inches across came out of one batch.
  • I used a standard royal icing recipe (with powdered egg whites) but added enough water to create the consistency I wanted.
  • Wrap the cookies well to store them as they will continue to soften.

Don’t forget to check out my fellow cookie bakers this holiday season.  Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen, Courtney of Coco Cooks, and Judy of No Fear Entertaining who are all returning this year, and Michelle of Big Black Dog, Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook, Renee of Flamingo Musings, and Tiffany of The Nesting Project who will be joining us this year.  A special nod goes to Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes who started the group last year, but cannot join in on the craziness this year.