when it comes to cookies, it’s probably no surprise that my favorite kind includes loads of butter.
if you ask me, cookies were made for butter, and the holidays were made for cookies.
you with me?
the only other thing that sends an (almost) perfect butter cookie over the edge, is the addition of savory spice. i’m talking fennel, cumin and nigella seeds.
it’s a little trick i picked up in india, another one of those genius anglo-indo melds i’m sure. it renders the butter cookie just a tad exotic, and will have your friends and family exclaiming (with glee) as they gather around your holiday hearth, “what have you put in these cookies? they’re delicious, but i can’t quite place the taste.” unless of course they’ve been to india, or they have a spice obsession.
but no matter that they can’t quite place the taste, ’cause they’ll be busy placing another handful of said cookies in their mouths.
butter n’ spice cookies
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 & 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 room temperature eggs
1 & 1/2 tablespoon milk or cream
4 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon each of whole fennel, cumin and nigella seeds
yield: approximately 75 cookies
1. if you have a hand or stand mixer, mix the softened butter and sugar together at once and beat on medium high until creamy, about 3 minutes. you can cream the butter and sugar by hand, but add the sugar gradually until it is all incorporated and the mixture is light and creamy.
2. add the salt, eggs and milk and beat until well combined.
3. gradually add the flour, about a cup at time and mix until just combined.
4. divide the dough into 3 portions. sprinkle the first portion with cumin, the second with fennel, and the third with nigella. stir each until the seeds are evenly distributed.
5. take each dough portion and place on a lightly floured board or counter. roll each one into a log approximately 8 x 2 inches. you can make them completely round, oval or squarish. i try to do each one in a slightly different size for variety and also to tell which one is which spice.
6. wrap each in a plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours (you can also freeze these for up to two months, and even take them out and slice individual slices from the frozen log, baking as you go).
7. preheat oven to 350 degrees. slice chilled cookie logs into 1/4 inch slices. place 1 & 1/2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies turn golden.
these cookies last in an airtight container for up to two weeks or even more. but, you know what i’m going to say about that don’t you?
and, if you’re a cookie lover, been making holiday cookies lately, have a great cookie recipe to share, want more cookies in your life, want to win one of my fave canning or d.i.y books of 2011, or just plain like to party, then hop on over to my facebook page this thursday december 15th at 7:30pm for my first ever cyber holiday give-away + cookie party!
hope to see you there!