Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cookie #53 - North Carolina Moravian Spice Cookies

I can't believe that just 48 hours ago I was walking on the beach in South Carolina, breathing the salty air with the foamy surf at my feet.  Now, I'm back home in Pennsylvania.  Back to laundry and housework.  Most important:  back to cookies.

For the next week, I will be posting two cookies a day to catch up on my week away.  We start with North Carolina:

Moravian Spice Cookies are a traditional recipe of the Moravian Churches in Colonial America.  It's a molasses based cookie spiced with just about every spice in your spice cabinet.  It's traditionally rolled out very thin to produce a crispy wafer.  They are particularly delicious with a little vanilla ice cream. 

North Carolina Moravian Spice Cookies

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour

In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat until the butter turns light brown. Add molasses, brown sugar and oil, stirring until sugar is melted and mixture is well combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.

Sift together flour, baking soda and spices. Add to butter/molasses mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until just blended.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Let dough rest at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Divide dough in half and rewrap the unused portion. Roll out the dough on a floured surface as thin as possible, less than 1/16 inch. Cut out cookies with a small 2-inch cutter and place them about 1/4 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake one sheet at a time for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are crisp and just beginning to brown on the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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