Sunday, December 4, 2011
windmill cookies & cookie o' the month...
Do you remember them? I would dip them in coffee, even at the age of seven when I wasn't supposed to have coffee. Mind you it was Greek coffee and if you're ever had that, it can be as thick as mud but dangerously much tastier. I've also been known to dip them in red wine--As an adult, not when I was seven. My wine connoisseur friends are appalled, as they probably should be or I think the wine connoisseur society (WCS) raises your membership dues or something like that. I digress, Baker Beth has brilliantly brought us the December Cookie with the the beloved windmill as the inspiration. Oh Baker Beth, (like Jem--remember Jem) you truly are outrageous. Enjoy and Happy Holidays! -angelo
From Baker Beth:
December is the patron month of cookies. There are a whole lot of memories wrapped up in holiday treats. I used to love thumbprint cookies, little shortbread-like numbers rolled in ground nuts, dented and filled with half a glacé cherry. (Mom used both red and green.) They were like little jewels on the
As an adult, I find glacé cherries disgusting. Such are the perils of growing up. What we loved as children doesn't always translate to our grown-up tastes.
But some things remain endearing.
Recently, Angelo mentioned that he was having almond thins for dessert. He shared a web site, so I could see them. (We like pictures of food; have you noticed?)
I replied, "Oh, almond thins! They remind me of windmill cookies. I loved windmill cookies when I was a kid."
To which he replied, "Windmill cookies are the best. BEST."
But Angelo's a fan of soft cookies, too, so for this month's cookie, I merged his love of soft cookies with his fondness for windmill cookies to create Almond Spice Drops.
They're simple to make in this hectic time of year. And the subtle spices offer a nice bit of contrast to many other holiday sweets. (Also, your kitchen will smell lovely while they're baking.) I added finely chopped toasted almonds to hearken back to the windmill cookies of my youth, but you can leave them out. Or swap in pecans. Or walnuts. Or hazelnuts, for that matter. They'd all be delicious.
Bake a little love this season. Happy holidays, kids.
Almond Spice Drops
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
Chopped toasted almonds
Preheat oven to 375º F. Measure flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl and whisk just to combine. In a large bowl, beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat to combine. Add eggs and mix thoroughly to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Add milk and mix just to combine. Add chopped almonds and mix just to combine.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 12 per sheet. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10-12 minutes, until edges just begin to turn golden brown. Cool on sheet for two minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: About 5 dozen