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Spice Cookies for a Holiday Fête

December 27, 2012

What do you bring to a holiday party? Is there one recipe you always turn to, a tasty long-time favorite or known crowd pleaser?

I don’t have a trademark recipe or even one particular favorite recipe to bring to gatherings, perhaps because I haven’t been around long enough to establish one. Or maybe I just haven’t found one surefire party pastry… a pastry, or other sort of delectable dish.

Whatever the reason, the invitation I received was a delightful reason to brainstorm and research holiday flavors.

My primary contribution this season was a step in learning more about true Southern cookery. I’m one-hunnerd percent Texan, but neither of my parents are from anywhere even slightly near anywhere Southern or Southwestern. However, Texan and Southern cooking are part of my life, and I feel that it would be a little ridiculous not to learn the local arts. So, my first step is these “Crackly Top Spice Cookies” on page 372 of Camille Glenn’s The Heritage of Southern Cooking.


Crackly-Top Spice Cookies (Camille Glenn)

3/4 c butter, cubed, soft
1 c light brown sugar (“not too firmly packed”)
1 egg
1/4 c molasses
2 1/4 c sifted flour
1/2 ts salt
1 ts ground ginger
1 1/2 ts ground cinnamon
1/4 ts ground cloves
1/4 ts baking soda

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Beat in egg and molasses. Sift together dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry to wet a little at a time. Mix well but do not overbeat. Refrigerate about an hour so dough is easier to handle. (Or don’t and cook immediately.)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Form dough into ~60 balls, roll or toss them in white sugar before placing them on greased pan. Flatten with a glass or fingers. “Sprinkle one drop of water in the center of each cookie.”
Bake 10-12 minutes.

Mrs. Glenn adds that these cookies travel well. Keep that in mind for post packages or road trips. (I can think of a couple folks to send these off with.)

(You may notice that my cookies did not turn out very crackly-topped. I’m curious about why they aren’t, but I doubt that detail could provide enough improvement for me to bother figuring it out.)
This recipe is definitely marked “REP(EAT ME)!”.

By the way, I read about this today.

Happy Holidays, y’all!

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