Sweet Spice: Island Spice Cookies

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Is it sacrilege to not go out and play today? It’s very pleasantly in the low-to-mid 80s, with not much humidity and less than a few clouds in the sky.  In short, the weather for which this city lives.

But, the laundry will not do itself.

The bathroom will not clean itself.

These cookies will not bake themselves.

Until I can harness the powers of Mary Poppins or Molly Weasley, it takes more than a quick snap of the fingers or wave of the wand to get the aforementioned done.  Okay, I admit the cookie part really isn’t all that necessary, but the first two are, unless I become okay with living in the state of…filth seems like such a strong word, but you get the gist.  Plus, what am I supposed to while my clothes tumble dry?  Twiddle my thumbs? Cookies seemed like a better idea. I did go out for a nice long walk this morning and will be out later today, so I don’t consider it a total waste of good weather.

So the cookies, inspired by Grenada, bring what seems like a little bit of the holidays with their cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon…Christmas in July? OH CRAP IT’S AUGUST. When did that happen?  WHEN?

I’m sorry, I didn’t really mean to yell at you. Perhaps a bit of overreacting about the speed with which summer has seem to come and will soon be gone. Thank GOD I made these cookies to make us all feel better.

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Before we get to the cookies, let’s talk about Grenada a bit. Grenada, aka “the spice island,” is a three-island state located in the southern part of a group of islands called the Windward Islands, found in the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies.  It earned the moniker since it is one of the world’s largest exporters nutmeg and mace.  (Remember, not to be confused with Indonesia, also the spice islands, on the other side of the world).  Like theses cookies, the traditional food-curries, the signature Oildown, ice cream-is all awash with flavor and spice.

Some of which I’ll be revisiting when the mercury falls a bit.

I adapted the cookie recipe from Caribbean Choice’s recipe because it looks pretty tasty.

A few notes:  I used dark brown sugar because I don’t live a walkable distance from a normal grocery store that sells overly processed foods at a reasonable price. I do love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but they do not sell basics like light brown sugar.  Neither does CVS. Or Walgreens. So, dark brown sugar it is.  To lighten the load a bit, I mixed in some granulated.  I also added some espresso power because as I was throwing spices willy nilly into the batter, the espresso powder was on that shelf, too, so in it went.  

The one thing I want to note about these cookies is that they should not take the place of your stand by ginger molasses cookies-they intentionally lack the richness that you’d expect from such a holiday cookie. However, these stand alone as the perfect summer cookie- light and cakey.  Perfect for your Christmas in August celebration.  Or a picnic, without the worry of melty chocolate getting everywhere (though, really one should never shy away from melty chocolate).

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Brilliant idea: Make these into ice cream sandwich cookies with this nutmeg ice cream. I wanted to do it, but my freezer right now can take no more ice cream. 

Island Spice Cookies
Yields 18
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  8. 1/4 tsp cloves
  9. 1/4 tsp espresso powder
  10. 1/8 tsp salt
  11. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  12. 1/4 cup plus 2 TB almond flour
  13. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  14. raw sugar, to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter, sugars, salt and spices until light and fluffy, around 4 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the baking powder and flours until well-combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of raw sugar for added crunch.
  4. Bake 10-12 minutes until the edges of the cookies turn brown. Let cook on a cookie sheet about 3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Notes
  1. If you don't want to add the almond flour, just use that same amount of all-purpose.
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World http://thehungarybuddha.com/

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