These spice cookies are related to an Italian spice cookie and are very popular at the Ottolenghi bakery counter over Easter and Christmas. The recipe was adapted from The International Cookie Cookbook by Nancy Baggett.
After tasting these, I say YUM! Christmas flavors with a divine lemon glaze.
From Jerusalem by Ottolenghi
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons brandy
scant 2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons good quality cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces good quality dark chocolate, coarsely grated
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 large egg
1 tablespoon diced candied lemon peel for garnishing
For the glaze:
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Soak the currants in the brandy for 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, baking soda, baking powder and the spices.
In a stand mixer, beat butter, sugar, vanilla and grated rinds for about a minute. Add the 1/2 egg, beat another minute. Slowly add flour. Mixture will be very dry. Add currants and mix until it comes together somewhat. Remove the dough and knead it until it until it comes together.
Break off pieces about 1 3/4 ounces each and form into a ball. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. I pressed down to flatten each ball a bit. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until top is firm, but still soft. Cool for 5 minutes, then glaze with 1 tablespoon of the glaze mixture. Top with a couple pieces of candied lemon peel.