Spice Cookies

By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, September 20, 2012
Photo: Jonathan Lovekin

Photo: Jonathan Lovekin

Makes 16 cookies

125g currants
2 tbsp brandy
240g plain flour
½ tbsp of best-quality cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp each ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
150g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely grated
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp grated lemon zest
½ tsp grated orange zest
½ medium free-range egg
1 tbsp diced candied citrus peel
For the glaze:
3 tbsp lemon juice
160g icing sugar

Soak the currants in the brandy for 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices, salt and dark chocolate. Whisk well.
Put the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon and orange zest in a mixer bowl and beat to combine but not aerate, for about a minute. Add the egg slowly, while the machine is running, and mix for another minute. Add the dry ingredients, followed by the currants and brandy. Mix until everything comes together.
Remove the bowl from the machine and gently knead until you get a uniform dough.
Divide the cookie mix into 50g chunks and shape them into perfectly round balls. Place on two baking sheets lined with baking paper, about 2cm apart, and rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Bake the cookies for 15–20 minutes, or until the top firms up but the centre is still slightly soft.
Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes only before transferring to a wire rack.
While still warm, whisk together the glaze ingredients until a thin and smooth icing is formed. Pour 1 tablespoon of glaze over each biscuit, leaving it to coat the biscuit with an almost transparent film.
Top each with 3 pieces of candied peel placed at the centre. Leave to set and serve, or store in an airtight container for a day or two.

Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press £27

Last updated: 12:58pm, September 20 2012