Cookie talk

The recent StarTribune Holiday Cookie Contest deadline last week reminded me that I had not yet posted the recipe for Ginger Citrus Cookies, this year's State Fair Gold Medal Blue Ribbon cookies. While I wont be entering the StarTrib contest again (two times ARE a charm!) I do love dabbling in all things cookie and I love putting a new spin on a classic cookie.

Pinchies are named for our beloved ginger cat Orson (a.k.a. Pinchy because he has a sweet little pinchy face) and the bones of the original recipe came from my great great uncle's parish cookbook from 1932. The cookbook recipe is for chocolate pinwheels. I changed the chocolate to ginger (our daughter is a ginger fiend) and rather than a standard pinwheel I borrowed the "S" cat shape from Lucia Buns. The cookie came together pretty nicely and it would be a great addition to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cookie plates. T requested ice cream sandwiches (Ginger ice cream? Orange sorbet?) next time I make these.

Ginger Citrus Pinchies
Makes about 16 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature for about 30 minutes
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose or unbleached flour + 1 tablespoon, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest from 1 orange (about 1/2 teaspoon)
zest from 1 lemon (about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoon molasses
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne powder

To prepare dough: use standup mixer with paddle (or handmixer) to cream butter on low speed for about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add yolk; add milk  and mix well. In small mixing bowl whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture and continue beating until dough forms.

Divide dough in half (there will be just over 2 cups total). Add half dough back to mixing bowl along with vanilla, orange zest and lemon zest. Mix until incorporated. Form dough into ball and wrap in plastic; set aside. Place remaining dough in mixing bowl along with 1 tablespoon flour, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cayenne. Mix until incorporated. Form dough into ball and wrap in plastic. Note: dough will be very soft.

Chill both dough balls at least 30 minutes.

Place parchment over work surface and roll each dough ball into a 8x5-inch rectangle 1/4-inch thick. Place one dough rectangle over the other, aligning the dough as perfectly as possible. Starting at one of the narrow ends of the dough, use the parchment paper to gently roll the dough into a spiral, stopping a little more than halfway up the rectangle. Flip dough upside down and roll the other end into a spiral so that dough resembles an S-shaped log.

Wrap in clean plastic and chill at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice chilled dough into 1/4-inch thick slices (will total about 16 S-shaped cookies). Place on parchment lined baking sheets about 1-2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes or until evenly browned on bottom. Cool on rack.


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