This recipe is adapted mostly from America's Test Kitchen, with some guidance from Serious Eats (mainly around the toasted sugar). America's Test Kitchen says there is a special Belgian sugar that's hard to find, so they substituted turbinado sugar. Serious Eats offers toasted sugar as a substitute. Serious Eats also holds back on the spices compared to ATK's recipe.

  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup toasted sugar see below
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 egg

Combine the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Process the toasted sugar in a food processor until you have a relatively fine grained sugar. Add in the butter and process for about 30 seconds. Add in the egg and process for about 10 seconds.

Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and process for about 30 seconds, until it comes together as a dough. Roll it out to about 1/8 thickness. Do this between two sheets of parchment paper, or on a floured surface. Refrigerate this rolled dough for about 90 minutes.

Heat your oven to 300 degrees F.

Cut chilled dough into small squares or rectangles. On America's Test Kitchen, they show you how to measure out a large rectangle on parchment and mark off even intervals, cutting perfectly even rectangular cookies. Do that, or eyeball it, whatever works for you.

Transfer the cutouts to a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets for 20 minutes.

Toasted Sugar

This is how Serious Eats makes toasted sugar. The recipe calls for four pounds of sugar, which is a bit much for the casual baker. They also offer a quicker, small batch version. It wasn't any quicker for me, but I didn't have to do four pounds of sugar at once. Here's what I did:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Put 2 cups of sugar in a wide, heavy oven safe skillet.
  • Put the skillet in the oven and stir every 20-30 minutes until golden brown. This can take 2 to 4 hours, depending on how golden brown you want it.
  • Let cool in the skillet before putting in a jar.

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