Spice cookies (plus preparing dough for later)
There is never a time when cookies are not appropriate. In particular, there is never a time when the spices cookies from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem are not appropriate. These cookies are a beautiful mix of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger, with orange and lemon zest, and chunks of dark chocolate. They’re dense and satisfying, though not sickeningly sweet. I love them. Generally, I substitute in half buckwheat flour for the plain flour as I like the depth and nuttiness it adds, though you do trade off a bit on the consistency as the lack of gluten in buckwheat flour detracts from binding and yields a more crumbly cookie.
One of the tricks of nice, rounded cookies is to cool the dough before baking – form the cookie dough into balls and refrigerate for an hour or so, then straight into the hot oven. You can also freeze the dough once it’s made and bake the cookies at a later time, as I did with the most recent batch of spice cookies.
With just about any cookie recipe, when you get to the stage where you have dough balls spaced out on a baking sheet, rather then placing into the oven, place them into the freezer. When they are well frozen, you can remove them from the tray and put them into a freezer safe container, then at a later time you can space them out on a baking tray, as if you had just made the dough, and cook from cold. This is a great way to help manage cooking time on busy days without missing out on the irreplaceable Freshly-Baked-Cookie joy.