Friday, July 9, 2010

Cookie #26 - Connecticut Nutmeg Icebox Cookies

Connecticut's nickname is "The Nutmeg State."  According to Wikipedia, the origins of this nickname are unknown.  Even so, I decided a nutmeg based cookie would represent Connecticut. 

Nutmeg itself is kind of funky looking:

From the nutmeg tree two spices are harvested:  mace and nutmeg.  I don't think I've ever cooked with mace so I can't speak about it's flavor.  Nutmeg, on the other hand, I've used many, many times.  I have two whole nutmegs in my pantry and they are well loved.  The flavor of fresh ground nutmeg is leaps and bounds better above the pre-ground jarred stuff (this is true with most spices). 

For this nutmeg cookie, I used a traditional icebox cookie and added the nutmeg flavor.  The cookie has a wonderful flavor and the spicy nutmeg adds a nice warmth to the sweetness.  These cookies were really easy to make - the whole batter went together in just minutes.  After chilling them, I sliced and baked and the aroma of sugar and nutmeg filled my kitchen reminding me of fall.

Connecticut Nutmeg Icebox Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

Cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and egg until well mixed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, salt, and nutmeg.  Add slowly to butter and sugar mixture until well combined.  Transfer to a sheet of waxed paper (or plastic wrap) and roll into a log about 2" thick.  Wrap tightly and refrigerate at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Remove dough from refrigerator and slice into 1/4" rounds.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 2" apart.  bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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