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Belgian Spice Cookies

June 13, 2011
I realize that it makes absolutely no sense for me to be posting a recipe for spice cookies in June. But sometimes thinking, cooking and eating seasonally-appropriate foods is just so daunting. And sometimes you just want a hearty, soft, spice-filled cookie. 
Last week during a particularly strong heat wave I had split pea soup from Trader Joe’s, a piece of whole grain baguette and a spice cookie for dinner. It was delicious and I enjoyed it with a hefty dose of air conditioning. 
If I were a virtuous seasonal blogger, I probably would have swapped the soup for gazpacho, the baguette for tomato focaccia and the spice cookie for a shortbread cookie topped with fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
I guess you can call me a rule-breaker in the blog world. At least I’ve got a whole plate of these little gems to keep me company.
Belgian Spice Cookies 
Adapted slightly from 

*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
*1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 1/4 cups brown sugar
*1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
*1 large egg

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
*Combine the flour, whole wheat flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
*With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in egg and beat until just combined.
*Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Mixture may be crumbly but should hold together when pressed together with your fingers.
*Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*Roll dough out into 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into circles with a round cookie cutter or the mouth of a large glass.
*Transfer cookies to a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Happy Baking!


Ginger Spice Scones

April 11, 2011
I hope you had a slightly more relaxing weekend than I did and are returning to your schedules refreshed and wide awake. After spending a couple days with Joey and my mom at my apartment, I took off on Saturday, with Nutmeg in tow, for a bridal shower for my best friend up in Minneapolis. It was a whirlwind trip to say the least, but even a few hours with those you love is more than worth the time in the car.
On the kitchen front, I’ve been baking and eating scones. Over the years, I’ve made a few scone recipes and eaten even more. Most of those scones have been less than memorable. Dry, crumbly, and unhealthy. 
These scones are different. They’re light and fluffy (thanks to a hefty dose of baking powder and soda) despite their stellar whole-wheat nutritional profile. Maybe, for some, they are too light to be considered a true scone, but for breakfast lovers like me, they really hit the spot. Of course, when I get my hands on a jar of sugar-free fruit preserves, I spread the stuff on everything in sight. Scones are no exception. 
Have a scone. And a happy Monday!
Ginger Spice Scones
*1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a combination of 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour)
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1 tablespoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/3 cup butter 
*2 large eggs
*1/4 cup milk
*Sugar-free blackberry preserves an Greek yogurt (optional) 
*Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. With a pastry blender, blend in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
*In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine. Turn onto floured surface and knead a few times until mixture comes together. Roll dough out into 1/2-inch thickness and cut into circles with a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass. 
*Transfer scones to baking sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp around the edges. Cool on wire rack. Serve with blackberry preserves and Greek yogurt, if desired. 
Happy Baking!
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