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Dave the Cook

Spice cookies

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This evening, I found myself in the middle of a domestic argument -- another couples' discussion, which drew in my SO, who disagreed with me.

So what spices are appropriate for spice cookies? Here's a partial list:

cinnamon

cloves

nutmeg

ginger

cumin

cayenne

black pepper

What belongs? What doesn't? What's missing?


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Are we talking about a specific known cookie recipe or cookies flavored with a blend of spices in general? If the latter, there can be no definitive answer as to what is appropriate other than "use what you like".


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Are we talking about a specific known cookie recipe or cookies flavored with a blend of spices in general? If the latter, there can be no definitive answer as to what is appropriate other than "use what you like".

Perfectly stated. What kind of recipe was it? What's your definition of a spice cookie?


Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

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I'd lose the cumin. Cayenne and/or black pepper should be used very lightly, if at all. You can add some cardamom (which is popular in Scandinavian recipes) and allspice.


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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With pepper they become Swedish Pepparkakor.

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Pepperkakor may include black pepper, but my favorite recipe does not.

For the general spice-for-cookies list, add mace and allspice; omit cumin.

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here´s what I use in my Dutch speculaas recipe:

"cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, aniseed, coriander, cardamom, in a ratio: cinnamon 3 : cloves 2: nutmeg 2: ginger 1/2: aniseed 1/2: coriander 1/2: cardamom 1/2. You can add some white pepper if you like it really spicy."

coriander seed hadn´t been mentioned yet I think.


Edited by Chufi (log)

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I used to have a recipe for a shortbread cookie made with cumin seed and (I think) black pepper. The cookies were different, but oddly addictive.

I also make brownies with cayenne and cinnamon, but that's another question entirely.

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I'm not sure about the cumin but I love Flo Braker's Spicy Twin Thins. They have 1/2 tsp black pepper & ginger, 1/4 tsp cinnamon & allspice. I'm not a spice cookie fan but these are addictive.


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Oh yea. Chocolate cookies with a little ancho, cayenne, and black pepper are a favorite. I also occasionally make spice cookies using the Spice House's cake spice blend, which is a blend of China Tung Hing cinnamon, star anise powder, ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice and ginger.

Edit: I almost forgot... you might consider Italian biscotti a spice cookie due to its heavy use of anise seed.

Dan


Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Cumin is very good in small quantities - it warms the whole mix and ties everything together.

Also good in small quantities is white pepper - it seems to emphasize the brighter, more flowery notes of a spice mix.

I like cardamon either alone or in simple blends - it seems to get lost and over-simplified in bigger mixes.

Allspice AND cloves sometimes seems like overkill to me - and in Japan, where people are not used to cloves in food, I more often use allspice.

Nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger...a more British blend with less emphasis on cinnamon, as in this

Elizabeth David spice blend

Dutch speculaas mix is pretty much the same, with pepper. You can add anise powder too.

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I use a bit of colmans English mustard powder to my gingersnaps (actually, gingerchews). cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves. at Christmas I do cookies with a little black pepper too.


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Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

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