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Almond Spice Cookies with Anise Frosting

Posted by on December 24 2012 in Desserts, Featured, Recipe

These cookies are the answer to my love of Jingles cookies, but my dislike of crunchy cookies. I made an almond-gingerbread hybrid dough. The almond paste gives the cookie a nice chew and the ginger/molasses gives the cookie a hint of spice. A light anise buttercream frosting finishes these off with my favorite taste of the holidays.

Almond Spice Cookies with Anise Frosting

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups (11oz, 320g) all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup (2.25oz, 65g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg (1.75 oz, 50g)
  • scant 1/2 cup almond paste, broken into small pieces (4oz, 115g)
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses (2.25 oz, 65g)
  • about 1 Tbs milk
  • 2 sticks room temperature butter (8oz, 225g)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (2oz, 60g)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (3.5oz, 100g)

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick  softened butter (113g)
  • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar (260g)
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 1/4 tsp pure anise oil (more or less to taste)

Method

For the cookies:

  1. Sift together the 2 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, blend the almond paste and the 1/2 cup of flour until well combined. Add the molasses and pulse, adding milk (about 1 tablespoon) just until the mixture forms a very smooth paste.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together (on medium high speed )the butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1/3 of the flour mix until combined. Add 1/2 of the paste until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour, mix, add the rest of the paste, then the last of the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and give it one last good mix.
  4. Scrape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate about an hour, until slightly chilled.
  5. Remove the dough and cut into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out into a 1/3″ thick circle on four separate pieces of parchment. Layer the parchement and dough onto a baking sheet, wrap, and refrigerate for another 2 hours, until firm (or place in the freezer for up to 2 weeks). Preheat oven to 350F.  When the dough has firmed up, cut using a 2″ cookie cutter. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 8 minutes, until set in the middle, but not darker around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

  1. The bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the milk and the anise oil and beat for 2 minutes on high.
  2. Pipe the frosting onto the center of the cookie and serve (I used an Ateco 846 French tip). Decorate with sprinkles if you’re so inclined. I got those little snowflake sprinkles from King Arthur Flour. If you like a higher cookie:frosting ratio, place another cookie on top. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

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