December 14, 2011

Maple and Nutmeg Winter Tea Cookies

It's cookie season, and making cookies with Jaden (2) and Ethan (3 mo) is surprisingly fun, so long as neither of them has a meltdown.  Jaden discovered the joy of licking the mixing attachment on the Kitchen Aid today... At first he was very cautious (we talk A LOT about keeping our hands off the mixer), but it didn't take long for him to really get it clean. He also just got his first apron - it has a bee on it, which he likes to talk about. 

Today we made a delicious little cookie that turned out to be the greatest tea cookie I have ever had. They're just a simple looking cookie with the perfect crunch and a lovely, yet subtle, wintry flavor. In fact, I would say these are a fantastic basic sugar cookie replacement. Seriously, the maple syrup and nutmeg almost knock you off your feet with contentment. The ingredient list is short; you probably have everything you need right in you cupboard this very moment. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's version, mine is vegan and has a tad less sugar. Just so you know, there is virtually no nutritional value to this cookie, but it is at least less bad for you than many other options.  
  • 1 cup buttery spread (like Earth Balance), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  1. Mix the flax seed and water together and let stand at least 2 minutes. 
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy in electric mixer. Add flax seed and syrup with mixer running on low. 
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, and salt. Add to butter mixture. Mix until just combined (avoid over mixing). 
  4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to four days in the fridge. 
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to 1/8 inch and cut out in desired shapes. Place on baking sheets (original recipe used parchment, I just set them on the try) and bake 8-11 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. Allow to cool for 2 minutes and transfer to racks to cool completely. 
  6. Serve with mint or lemon blossom tea. Really, any tea will do. Keeps in air-tight container for a week or in the freezer for a couple of months. 

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