Baking with B: Chocolate Spice Cookies

Do you ever get tired of making the same thing, over and over again? (I used to feel that way about birthday cakes.) I was searching for something to serve during a recent family visit and none of my old standards were really grabbing me. Trying something new didn’t really appeal to me either- I didn’t have the time or energy for experimenting.

I was beginning to feel discouraged until I thought- hey, why reinvent the wheel? You know a lot of great classic recipes, B. Why not spice one up so you can have the best of both worlds?

I took my own advice. Literally. I whipped together the ingredients for my favorite butter cookie recipe (also featured here) and turned things up a notch. I’m pretty pleased with the results, too- these Chocolate Spice Cookies melt in your mouth just like a butter cookie, but taste like a gingersnap, with an extra splash of chocolate to keep things sweet.

Chocolate Spice Cookies (makes 28)

3/4 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. nutmeg

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted

Cream together butter and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift together spices and flour and mix with wet ingredients, adding one spoonful at a time until ingredients are fully combined. Divide the dough and shape into two flat discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Use your hands to shape dough into desired shape, before placing on a parchment-lined cookie sheet approximately one inch apart. Press down each cookie with a fork before baking 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cookie rack until fully cooled.

Melt chocolate in a double-broiler or microwave until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate before placing on waxed paper. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

B’s Tip: Just because I used chocolate chips doesn’t mean you can’t use your favorite baking chocolate or chocolate bar to make the melted chocolate! You may want to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies instead, or skip that step altogether and throw your chocolate chips into the dough before baking.

The best thing about making over a classic recipe like this is that the variations don’t have to stop there- you can change up the chocolate, switch out the spices, or add nuts or your favorite dried fruit for even more flavor. Your cookies don’t even have to be the same shape- I tried molding mine into logs before squashing with a giant serving fork, instead of the usual circular cookies I make. See? Spicing up your old routine can be addictive. I highly suggest you try it too. You never know what you might come up with!

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

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Baking with B: 7 Days of Christmas Cookies: Maple Butter Cookies

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If you’re too worn out from all of the holiday excitement, may I suggest making these super simple cookies to add to your Christmas cookie platter? I came up with this recipe after wanting to be creative with my basic butter cookie recipe that I make every year. I already had the maple flavoring in my baking box and it adds a subtle element to the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the cookie. Tinker around with the flavor to see what suits you the best.

Maple Butter Cookies (makes approximately 36 cookies)

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
about 1 tbsp maple extract or 2 tbsp maple syrup (to taste)

In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add flour a little bit at a time as the dough gets quite thick and difficult to manipulate. You may want to use a food processor. Add maple extract to taste. Knead until a large ball starts forming, then flatten the ball into a disc. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll into small balls. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Before placing them in the cover, press down on the top of each ball of dough lightly with a fork. Bake for about 10 minutes.

B’s Tip: To make sure all of your cookies are in uniform shape, use a small dessert spoon (or I like to use a coffee spoon) to scoop the same amount of dough. Roll into a ball using the palm of your hands.

Let cookies cool on a cooling rack for about ten minutes before serving to let the shape of the cookie set. You may wish to drizzle an icing glaze over the top for a sweeter cookie, and if you really love that maple flavor you may wish to add a drop of maple extract to your icing as well. I pressed chopped walnuts into the top and that tasted great too!

If you can’t find maple extract in the aisle where vanilla extract is sold, you may want to try experimenting with maple syrup. Just remember to add a little bit at a time so the dough doesn’t become too sticky.

This cookie pairs perfectly with a cup of Christmas tea.

Happy baking!

B

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I’m counting down Christmas by sharing some of my favourite holiday cookie recipes with you! I’ll be posting a different Christmas cookie recipe every day for the next seven days so you can follow along in my family’s baking tradition, and have more cookies to add to your Christmas baking arsenal! For more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.