Christmas is the season for warm and fragrant spices and one spice mix I like in particular is Speculoos/ Spekulaas spice so that’s what I used in this recipe but feel free to use whatever appeals to you.
Embossed Spiced Brown Sugar Cookies
Ingredients:150 gm unsalted butter1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar2 eggs2 tsp vanilla extract1/2 tsp. baking powder1/4 tsp. baking soda1/4 tsp. salt3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour2 tsp ground cinnamon1 tsp finely grated nutmeg1/2 tsp ground cloves3/4 tsp powdered dried ginger1/2 tsp powdered anise seeds1/2 tsp finely crushed black pepperNot quite an ingredient, but you also need something to emboss these cookies like lace doilies, moulds, water glasses with patterned undersides, etc.Method:With a hand held electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until pale in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the creamed mixture and beat till just combined. Do not overwork the dough. If the dough feels sticky, add a little more flour. If the dough seems dry, add a tsp or so of milk to get the right consistency.Shape the dough into a disc, cover it with clingwrap and refrigerate the dough for about a couple of hours (or overnight), to make it easier to handle. Divide the dough into two and work with one portion at a time. Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough evenly to 1/4" thickness.An easier way is to roll the dough out on baking parchment that is cut to the size of your baking sheet. Then press your embossing tool (doilies, mould, rolling pin, etc) evenly into the dough pressing down with enough pressure to leave a somewhat deep imprint on the dough. If the pattern is not deep enough, it will disappear when the cookies puff up while baking. Make sure the pattern completely covers the surface of the rolled out dough.Now use cookie cutters and cut out shapes leaving about an inch between them. Remove the excess dough and your cookies are already on the baking sheet, so you have no hassles with trying to transfer them! Place the cut out cookie dough in the fridge for about half an hour.Then bake them at 180C (350F) for 10 to 15 minutes till the edges of the cookies look like they’re browning. You need to watch for this really carefully, as the cookie dough is brown.Let the cookies cool completely. They will be a bit soft when warm but will crisp up once they cool. Store them in airtight containers.This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies (2 1/2" diameter).