Low Sugar Spice Cookies
As much as I love sweet food, I do try and avoid it much of the time as I believe that sugar is the source of many evils.
However, giving up sugar maybe easy for some people, but it certainly is not for me! I have read that the craving that people have for sugar is real and stems from the fact that our cave dwelling ancestors scarcely ate any sweet food, so when they did, the body just screams 'more!'
I know how that feels and I think that denying oneself anything just makes matters worse, leading to the whole packet of biscuits being demolished rather than just one or two.
In order to prevent the faint misery that comes with complete deprivation, I adapt recipes so that I can satisfy my greed and cravings (let's face it – it is not like I need it for any nutritional purposes!)
I can partake in the odd sweet treat every now and then and enjoy an actual flavour rather than just sweetness.
I call them spice cookies rather than naming a specific spice (such as cinnamon cookies or nutmeg cookies) as the recipe can be adapted according to your mood or the season. The warm, spicy aroma of cinnamon, for example, is perfectly Christmassy.
I tend to make small batches so I am not tempted, and this recipe makes about 12 -15 cookies (with use of a fairly small cookie cutter) but the recipe can be doubled for a bigger batch.
As part of your preparations, remove the butter and eggs that you intend to use and keep them at room temperature. This will make them easier to use and make for a better result.
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg/cinnamon/crushed cloves/ginger, as desired
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/375F. If you intend to line a baking sheet, do this first and put it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until it is lighter and creamier. Add the vanilla extract and mix in. Add the egg and thoroughly combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, your chosen spices and salt.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix together. If you like a cookie with a bit of crunch, mix it thoroughly, however, if you prefer them soft and chewy, stir the mixture just enough to combine.
- Continue to mix until the mixture becomes firmer and forms into a ball of dough. If the resulting ball of dough is too soft, it can be difficult to deal with. If this is the case, cover the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge for an hour.
- Once it is cool, use your hands to roll to dough into a cylinder shape and cut discs of about half a centimetre thick. Alternatively, if you have a cookie cutter, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough on a floured surface before using a cookie cutter (I use the rim of a highball glass). Repeat the process with the left over dough after cutting out the first batch.
- Lay the discs onto the baking sheet and place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cookies turn golden. Once cooked, lay them on a cooling rack (if you can resist eating them warm from the oven) and store in an airtight container.