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.
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.
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.
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.