by Caprial Pence and Melissa Carey
from Caprial’s Desserts
(Ten Speed Press, 2001)
Makes about 30 medium-size cookies
While working on this recipe, I aimed for cookies with a rich butter flavor, a heady scent of spices, and a tangy, slightly sweet glaze. Baking the glaze for a few minutes gives it an almost crackly texture in your mouth.—Caprial Pence and Melissa Carey
For the cookies
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 cups all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
For the glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
A splash of vanilla
2 tablespoons orange juice
Make the cookies
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a sheet pan well and set aside.
2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg and vanilla extract, and mix well.
3. Add the cream of tartar, flour, zest, spices, and salt, and mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth.
4. Remove the dough from the mixer and form it into a ball. If it’s too soft to handle, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it firms up a bit. On a well-floured board, roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into shapes with the cookie cutters of your choice. Place on the prepared pan and bake 8 to 10 minutes.
Glaze the cookies
1. Prepare the glaze by mixing the powered sugar, vanilla, and orange juice until smooth.
2. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately brush each one with a good amount of glaze, then place them back in the oven and bake until the glaze starts to crackle and the cookies are a golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes more. Remove the cookies and let cool for about 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a rack or to paper towels and let cool completely.
Recipe © 2001 Caprial Pence and Melissa Carey. All rights reserved.