This post has taken much longer to post! This year has been so crazy and has gone by ever so quick, what an unbelievable journey. Every holiday I write a post about cookies and it is here finally! I was inspired to make these cookies because of a beautiful five-spice powder that I bought from a spice shop while on my way to a coffee shop in Hong Kong. The spice shop has been operating since 1912, located in the old district ot Sheung Wan. The variety of spices and their aromas were so enticing we had to stop and take a look. The store had every spice imaginable, Western and Eastern, just everything. They do both retail and wholesale. Besides the five-spice powder, I also bought some Vietnamese ground cinnamon, aged citrus peel, ground pepper, and turmeric. I used the five-spice powder and cinnamon for these cookies. They have savoury character to them because of the five-spice and at the same time quite festive from the cinnamon.
- 1/2 cup / 112 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup / 95 g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/3 cup / 215 g all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- more sugar for tops
- 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
- 50 ml / 50g whipping cream, heated to lukewarm in microwave oven
- 1/3 cup / 80g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- In a mixer bowl, combine butter and icing sugar. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until pale, about three minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract and beat for three more minutes or until incorporated.Stop mixer, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the flour, baking powder, five spice powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until a dough forms, scrape down bowl mix for another 10 seconds. Shape dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two. Lightly flour your work surface, roll out the cookie dough from center out, turning the dough 90 degree after each roll. Dust with baking sheets, placing them 2.5 cm apart. Dock tops with a fork and sprinkle with sugar. Bake them one tray at a time for about 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cool cookies before filling.
- In a small saucepan, cook sugar to dark amber colour, swirling pan to caramelize evenly - try not to stir it. Slowly add in whipping cream, be careful as the caramel is very hot and it will splatter slightly.
- Cook to 108 C and take off heat. Cool caramel for about 5 minutes, stir in butter, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Let cool until ready to fill.
- Pipe or spoon about 1 teaspoon of caramel onto half of the cookies. Carefully sandwich them with the rest. Let the cookies set for a day for best flavour and texture. These will keep up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.
I love when the gooey dough caramel oozes out when bitten into, it somehow feels so satisfying. The salt in the caramel emphasizes the five-spice’s savouriness.
Other cookie ideas:
Cookies are my perfect gift, nothing is more comforting than a good cookie. 2017 was a wild one, I can’t wait for 2018. I wish you and your family a holiday full of happiness and delicious food!