Spice Cookies

October 16, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes 4 dozen
Author Notes

The secret ingredient for these cookies is mulberry grape molasses, Dut Pekmezi, available at any Turkish market. It adds a fruitiness rather than the bite you typically find from the blackstrap molasses. This recipe evolved as a variation on the German-style pfeffernusse cookie. This recipe yields about 4 dozen cake-like, half-domed button-sized cookies. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup sweet cream unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark muscovado, or brown, sugar
  • 1/4 cup mulberry grape molasses (or you can use pomegranate molasses)
  • 1/8 cup poppy seeds mixed with 1/8 cup chestnut or other honey
  • 1 duck egg or extra large chicken egg, free range, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups apf or white whole wheat flour (or your best gluten-free baking mix)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon each of dried ginger and Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground white pepper and nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, recommended
  • @ 1 cups powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Cream the butter with the cane and muscovado sugars. Stir in the molasses, poppy seed and honey combination. Blend in the beaten egg. If you want chopped dried nuts and fruits, add these now. Hazelnuts and cranberries work well.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and all the dry spices. Gradually combine the dry and wet ingredients. Do add in the flaxseed meal for a healthier touch.
  3. Shape the dough into a large ball. Refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours and even overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees before baking. Divide the dough into four units. From each unit roll a dozen balls, roughly half a tablespoon each. Place the rolled balls on a cookie sheet, allowing 2 inches of space around each and bake for 11-14 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Cool thoroughly on a baking rack.
  5. Spreading the cookies a few inches apart, sift powdered sugar through a sieve held about 4-6 inches above the cookies until dusted to your liking. For a variation you could use cocoa instead. These make a great holiday cookie.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • BigA
  • Niknud
  • hardlikearmour
  • Sagegreen

8 Reviews

BigA February 14, 2019
I just loved these. In late January, after all the Christmas baking is impossible to buy, my beau asked me if I had ever heard of these cookies from his childhood; I vaguely remember having them as a kid, but due to gluten allergies, I missed out on a lot of this stuff as an adult and as a result, have no real idea what they should be like. To make things more complicated, he can't have cow's milk. I read a lot of recipes and determined that there are two main qualities that he might remember from childhood: Hard vs Soft and Glaze vs Powder Sugar. I asked what he liked, and he responded with Soft and Glazed. I settled on this recipe for a few reasons, the biggest being that this recipe isn't as complicated as others I had seen, it has good reviews, there is a suggestion to sub gf flour and I had pomegranate molasses in the cupboard. I used Bob Mills' Cup for Cup, goats butter (salted), a handful of finely chopped walnuts and 1 large egg & 2 quails eggs. I didn't have poppy seeds so I skipped those. I also added the 2 tablespoons of almond meal as suggested. I went a little crazier on the spices, I used a little more than suggested here, plus additional spices from another recipe because we both tend to like things a little more seasoned. I also sifted the flour and used eggs at room temperature. The texture was beautiful, I cooked them for 11 minutes at 325F and they were perfect. Golden bottoms, soft in the middle and a little chewy. I dipped them in glaze after they cooled and put them in a cute jar as a little Valentine's day treat. They were definitely a hit, but I don't think he really remembers what the cookies from his childhood tasted like...just that he had them at his Grandma's house at Christmas. Only a recipe this good can compete with that! ;D
Sagegreen February 14, 2019
Thanks so much. Happy Valentine's Day!
Niknud October 17, 2011
These sound both comforting and slightly exotic. Love the white pepper and poppyseed which you don't normally see in spice cookies. Bet they taste great!
Sagegreen October 17, 2011
Thanks, Niknud. So far everyone who has tried them has loved them. Love your combined comfort and exotic description. It seems really apt! I have a version with chestnut flour mixed with white whole wheat and chestnut honey in the works next.
hardlikearmour October 17, 2011
These are adorable, and sound delicious! Nice to see a new recipe from you, sagegreen.
Sagegreen October 17, 2011
Thanks, hla!
Sagegreen October 16, 2011
You are welcome, sdebrango. Duck eggs are just a bit eggier, but so wonderful!!
Sagegreen October 16, 2011
Thanks, sdebrango. They are quite large, really delicious, and just a bit eggier!