My Favorite Fall Cookies

I never travel without snacks, whether it’s a long road trip or a quick flight, and last week’s trip to Seattle was no exception. On the way home, I brought one of these in my bag, in addition to eating half a chicken in the airport from the Wolfgang Puck cafe; on the way there, I packed a bag of sliced green peppers, a bunch of carrot matchsticks and a large plastic bag filled with some of my favorite cookies.

These are those cookies, and I have to tell you they’re something special. Have you ever had those butter almond thins from Trader Joe’s? When I used to buy them, I could eat the whole box. In one sitting. Literally. These cookies are just like those. Or, speaking of food on airplanes, do you remember back in the day when flights would include nuts and a snack? There were these ginger-like cookies I always found so comforting. And these cookies are even better than that.

almond cookies on baking sheet

The recipe originates with Martha Stewart, and beyond my typical ingredient deviations—spelt flour, Sucanat, coconut oil—the primary adaptations I made relate to method: where she says to chill the dough in loaf pans (making it tall and easy to cut), I’ve tried a 9 X 13 pan (making long, skinny cookie strips), long logs (where you just slice and bake), large circles of dough (to then roll out and cut shapes from) and random scraps of dough formed into balls. The beauty is that all of these methods work.

favorite fall cookies

You can take this versatile cookie dough and do whatever you’d like with it: you’ll still wind up with the same buttery, nutty crisps I can’t get enough of.

spiced cookies

They’re good with tea or coffee. They’re good by themselves. And, for the record, not that this happened to anyone here, but if you’re ever stuck in Seattle Tacoma Airport for three hours while you wait for someone else’s flight to arrive, and you want something to mindlessly eat and eat until it’s totally and completely gone, well, they’re good for that, too.

Favorite Fall Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Spiced Almond Wafers
Original recipe makes 6 dozen; amount varies based on how you cut them

Like I said in the post, I’ve tried making these cookies in a variety of different ways, and they’ve all worked well. But for the below recipe, I’ll explain the roll-out-and-cut-cookies method, which makes for the flower shapes pictured above.

3 cups white spelt flour (or all-purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1 1/4 cups Sucanat (or another sweetener)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds (for decorating the tops)

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat butter, coconut oil and sugar on medium speed for 4 minutes, and then reduce speed to low. Add eggs and spices. Beat in flour mixture in three additions.

Divide dough into three pieces, flattening them into circles and wrapping in plastic wrap tightly. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or freeze for up to a month.

When ready to work with the dough, preheat oven to 400 degrees. (Thaw dough a little first if it’s been frozen)

Remove dough, one circle at a time, and roll out on a floured surface, cutting shapes out like you would with sugar cookies and placing them on baking sheets. Top each cookie with a few almonds. Repeat with other sections of dough.

Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, until they’re deep brown.

26 Comment

  1. These look fantabulous. Very fantabulous.

  2. Jacqui says: Reply

    I’m with you on the whole “bring snacks everywhere I go” routine. You just never know, right?! Waiting in airports is never much fun, at least you had these to munch on! They sound perfect for the holidays too.

  3. Lisa says: Reply

    oh these look so delicious! I’ve been itching to bake again lately. Fall is just so conducive to warm delicious baked goods.

  4. Maddie says: Reply

    I love that you bring a bunch of snacks for the plane — my boyfriend always thinks I’m off my rocker for doing the same thing. But flying makes one hungry, you know?

    And while the gingersnaps they used to serve hit the spot, I imagine these Martha ones are even better.

  5. yum, what a great snack! would also be great with a cup of tea 🙂

  6. Snacks are always better when they’re pretty to look at, I think. And of course when they taste of gingerbread! Have you tried Anna’s Pepparkakor from IKEA? I’m betting they’re similar to the TJ’s variety, plus there are other flavors as well. But I digress, sweet travel treats — love the crunch of almond.


  7. OOOhhhhhhhh these look crackly and lovely!
    Kudos for adapting the recipe- this one looks great!

  8. Kim says: Reply

    Isn’t SeaTac a cool airport? I love the salmon/river design on the floor, and the water fountains that gurgle and the giant windows in the terminal (by the delicious seafood restaurant whose name I’ve forgotten).

  9. rachel says: Reply

    coookies yum 🙂 they looks so darn fancy 🙂 but the recipe looks kid friendly even… seeing i barely ever do anything kid free–even bathroom trips… its like”mommy , where are you” –and packing snack for 9!! LOL.. dont even get me started..w e gotta have a cooler….

  10. Jeannie, Well thank you!

    Jacqui, Seriously. And the times when I don’t bring a snack are the times when I want them most!

    Lisa, It really is. The cooler days, the darker nights, it just pushes me into the house and around the oven.

    Maddie, I love that you do it, too! No way you’re off your rocker! I bet your boyfriend likes it when he gets to snack, too, right? : )

    Blissful, Exactly!

    Heather, Actually, I think I have! They’re nice, too. I’m always drawn to the crunchy cookies (well, and all cookies, let’s be honest).

    Antonietta, Thank you!

    Kim, I spent four hours of my life there and let me tell you, I thought I saw it alllllll, ha! But fountains? I think I missed them!

    Rachel, Packing a snack for nine is so incomprehensible to me. You’re amazing!

  11. Kim says: Reply

    Oh yes! They are drinking fountains, tucked over by the restrooms, disguised as regular drinking fountains…until you try to drink out of them! 🙂

  12. claire says: Reply

    These really remind me of the cookies I ate at my grandmothers growing up. They were shaped like flowers as well with the perfect crumbly crispy texture and taste of gingerbread. YUM!

  13. OMG. a double bonus – seattle (one of my favorite cities) AND cookies? yep. life is good. thanks, shannalee!

  14. Alicia says: Reply

    I am the exact same way with bringing snacks everywhere I go. I won’t leave the house without snacks in my purse becaues I go crazy if I’m hungry and left with no food. And I don’t eat fast food. So why not?! I’ve gotten crazy looks for some of the stuff I pull out of my Mary Poppins purse though. I’m always thrilled to read a new cookie recipe of yours. I’ve almost made every single one!

  15. Kim, And I missed them!? Next time!

    Claire, Those sound lovely! My favorite cookie memories were at my grandma’s.

    JessieV, Ha, life is good. : )

    Alicia, You should get some kind of prize for being so ready to jump on board with new cookies. I love that about you!

  16. Susan says: Reply

    That is the perfect travel snack!

  17. Susan, Cookies totally are!

    Angela, Christmas already? Well these cookies are a good fall/winter compromise. : )

  18. i am all for the portable snacks while traveling. just got back from dallas and brought some granola for the breakfasts. as it turns out, we had free breakfast anyway, so i saved it instead!!

  19. Heather, I’m making granola this week! Snack foods are the best.

  20. I do exactly as you do–never travel without GOOD food. However, I differ a little: I NEVER eat airport food, anywhere (well, SF airport is an exception). In a few days, I am on my way to Denver and I already baked fresh brioche, waiting in the freezer (my flight leaves very early).

  21. George, Brioche!? Well you are amazing!

  22. I love the idea of putting some nuts on as a toppings. Thanks for sharing this one. My hubby will surely love your cookie and ask for it more. He really loves cookies like that.

  23. Mel, You’re welcome! I hope he does!

  24. Wow. This is totally a great snack when you are travelling. My kids love this when ever we wait for our flight and they eat most of it until they don’t have cookies for their snacks while we are on the airplane. Lol. Maybe I should make many of your cookies for our next flight destination.

  25. Rose, I think I relate to your kids! It’s a great idea that you bring them snacks!

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