These Chinese five-spice cookies get their kick from ground star anise, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, and cloves. They're so versatile, they can be your favorite everyday cookie or, with a zhuzh of powered sugar, new holiday tradition.
Say bye-bye-bye to your boring plain sugar cookie and nǐ hǎo to these Chinese five-spice lovelies. They’re sugar cookies on steroids. Depending upon your five spice blend (I like Penzey’s), it can include ground star anise, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, and cloves. The cookies are the perfect holiday treat, edible gift–even accompaniment to tea. Because of their snappy, crisp texture, they can handle lots of dunking.–David Leite
Special Equipment: 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter or favorite holiday-shaped cutter
Chinese Five-Spice Cookies Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H, 40 M
- Makes about twenty cookies
- 1 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. Dump the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly.
- 2. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until creamy and well combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until fluffy, about 1 minute more.
- 3. Stir in the flour mixture, combing just until everything is incorporated and a soft dough forms. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and adjust the rack to the center position.
- 5. Unwrap the dough, place it on a fresh piece of plastic wrap, and roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Slide the wrap and the dough onto a baking sheet and place the whole shebang in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm it slightly.
- 6. Remove the dough from the freezer and quickly cut out the spice cookies with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie biscuit cutter (or if it’s the holidays, your favorite cookie cutter) spacing them 1/2-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately transfer the spice cookies to a wire rack to cool. (The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)
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