Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's Amazing How Good My Kitchen Smells


Cookie Madness continues. Sugar and spice and apples and nuts. We move from the difficult to the super easy; drop cookies.
Today I'm making Applesauce Spice Cookies. The kitchen, actually the whole house, smells so good. Apple, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, nuts and raisin fragrances are everywhere as the cookies bake. These are a variation of the Pumpkin Cookie recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. I made some minor changes, as I usually do.

These are easy drop cookies with a soft, cakelike crumb and the toothsome appeal of chewy raisins and crunchy walnuts. The apple flavor is subtle and the spices are fully present. I use freshly ground nutmeg, so I use a little less than in the recipe. If you can, invest in some fresh baking spices at the beginning of Christmas baking season. It makes such a difference in the taste.

Applesauce Spice Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
Spice and Lemon Glaze (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl, then add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the applesauce and lemon juice.
On a sheet of waxed paper, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to the mixing bowl and beat until the dough is completely mixed. Stir in the nuts and raisins.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cookies spread a bit.
If desired, brush the cookies with the glaze while they are still hot, then transfer the cookies to racks to cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Spice and Lemon Glaze
Combine 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons water until well mixed. Brush or spoon over hot cookies. Hardens as cookies cool.





2 comments:

Brilynn said...

I can only imagine how your kitchen smells right now! Actually, it's probably similar to mine... I'm going to get a baking post up soon, I've been very busy with cookies galore. I'm planning on making linzer cookies too, although your bar method looks much easier.

Brilynn said...

I can only imagine how your kitchen smells right now! Actually, it's probably similar to mine... I'm going to get a baking post up soon, I've been very busy with cookies galore. I'm planning on making linzer cookies too, although your bar method looks much easier.