So while I was off in San Diego with my mom, Alex made cookies. When he said that he was going to bake cookies, I literally thought the world had ended. Alex is not a baker. In fact, he periodically places a baking embargo on our kitchen. I don't usually fully comply with the baking embargo, but that's just me. But I can't remember him ever baking anything else. He used to help his mom bake the slice and bake cookies you buy at the grocery store around the holidays, but that's as much as I can ever recall him doing before. Anyway, back to the cookies. These cookies are Dutch cookies that Alex used to eat around Christmas-time when his family lived in the Netherlands. They kind of remind me of gingerbread - they are dry and crunchy like gingerbread and use similar spices. As far as cookies go, I have to admit that I prefer softer cookies. I like a good shortbread cookie every once in awhile, but if push comes to shove I want a nice peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. Gingerbread has never been among my favorites.
So it is no surprise that these cookies are not my favorite. Alex definitely likes them more than I do. He said that there are a few things he would change about them, but he likes the flavor (although he did mention that he thought the flavor would be a bit more "intense" and taste a little less like gingersnaps, and a little "spicier"). He thinks that they are a little dry (I think they are a lot dry, but like I said, I like softer, moister cookies than he does). According to him the cookies should be a lot smaller than he actually made them. The cookies are supposed to be 1/2-inch marble-sized balls, but his cookies were more like 1-inch balls. He blames their size for the dryness. Either way I totally think it's adorable that Alex baked!
Recipe after the jump!
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
7 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp whole milk
4 tsp speculaaskruiden (see below)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp orange zest, finely grated
1 egg white, beaten
Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead (you may use a mixer with a dough hook attachment). You should be able to shape the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands. Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Wet your hands and roll little marble-sized balls of dough. Place dough balls on the cookie sheet. Using your thumb, gently press down on each cookie to flatten slightly. Brush with egg white. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies puff up and turn a slightly darker shade of brown. Allow to cool.
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground mace
1/3 tsp ground ginger
1/5 tsp ground white pepper (a pinch)
1/5 tsp ground cardamom (a pinch)
1/5 tsp ground coriander seeds (a pinch)
1/5 tsp ground anise seeds (a pinch)
1/5 tsp grated nutmeg (a pinch)
Combine all ingredients together.