Spice Cookies

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.

Spice Cookies
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.


  1. How lovely! The perfect tea or coffee dunker.

  2. I can imagine the aroma wafting from the oven--all of my favorite flavors for the season.


  3. I am going to make these Barbara. I have some candied lemon peel from King Arthur. Thanks!

  4. I make a spice cookie each Christmas but it doesn't have chocolate. I think I'll give your cookies a try this year.

  5. Barbara these are really lovely cookies!

  6. Wonderful cookies! I am a big fan of spicy treats...



  7. These sound divine with a cup of espresso.

  8. I love spice cookies- they always remind me of Christmas, no matter what time of year I have them! These sound amazing! :)

  9. Oh I'm sooooo pinning these Barbara! Thursday is National Cookie Day and I'm loading up on all the yummy cookies I can! (virtually for now:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Barbara...

  10. I adore spiced cookies. These look marvelous, Barbara.

  11. I love spices in my food. Can't do without them actually. Goes without saying these sound great and I especially like the brandy in them.

  12. Wonderful recipe. Spice cookies say Christmas to me. We are hosting Holiday Best at Tumbleweed Contessa and I'd love it if you shared these with us.


  13. My gosh you are a busy bee!
    Having arrived home in daylight for once..the shock of leaving technicolor Fl to arriving to a bleak grey and white landscape..all I can say is thank goodness we love our home and town..because color wise..what a difference!
    I love your blue skies..and azure water!

  14. It looks like the holiday baking has started Barbara.

  15. What a treat! I don't see much baking in my schedule this Christmas season, but Pinterest will hold these for me for another time.

  16. These cookies sound and look delicious Barbara...I like the citrus in it as well...it is such a nice touch together with all the spices.
    Hope you are enjoying your week :)

  17. These cookies look divine, I would be happy to have a cuppa tea with them :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  18. they're so fat! the addition of some candied lemon is just lovely, barbara. :)

  19. These look like winners for the holidays, Barbara! Putting these on my list of must-bake cookies this month.

  20. Oooh, Barbara, I do hope you'll swing by to Food on Friday to add this to Christmas Favourites! Cheers from Carole from Carole's Chatter

  21. These cookies look wonderful, and when I saw the source, I realized why. Ottolenghi makes everything great, doesn't he?

  22. I'm adding these little beauties to my cookie list this year!

  23. Barbara,so glad you stopped by to add to the collection. If you would like me to send you a reminder about each new Food on Friday, just drop me a line on ca4ole@gmail.com . Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  24. Hi Barbara, I have these cookies bookmarked, love everything about them. My mother-in-law would love these.



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