Friday, December 9, 2011

My kind of air freshener!

Baking. That's the only thing I want to smell in my house. Not some chemical Tahitian sunset coming from a plugged in plastic seashell. Today my home has the lingering scent of Mexican Christmas Crackles. This is my go-to holiday cookie. When it comes to the holidays, nothing says Christmas to me like the smell of these chocolatey-cinnamony-clovey-cayenney cookies.

photo

Mexican Christmas Crackles

6 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Trader Joe's discs), melted over double boiler

1/2 C. room temperature unsalted butter creamed with 1 + 3/4C sugar
add in 3 eggs one at a time
add 1 tsp vanilla
gradually stir in chocolate

Sift together:
2 C + 2 TBsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cloves

slowly combine dry with wet and stir until blended. Chill in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Form tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball and roll in sifted icing sugar. Place onto sheet 2 inches apart. Press a whole almond or 1/2 cherry into the top of each ball.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

I made three batches yesterday. That's 18 dozen. I only needed 11 dozen for my cookie exchange last night. Mmmmmm, more for me! Well, not too many. When the kids were young, they called these "the spicy cookies" and avoided them like brussel sprouts. Sadly, when they got home from school they both devoured several. Apparently their palates have matured!

What smell says Christmas to you?


27 comments:

Karin said...

yummy, these sound so good! I'm going to see if I have the unsweetened chocolate and make the dough this morning before I head to the grocery store - if not, that is going on my shopping list!

randi said...

this is an interesting recipe. never heard of cayenne in a cookie! i'll bet it heightens all the flavors in the cookie!

we make a similar looking cookie called chocolate crinkles. they look lovely and smell and taste like brownies. i just love them and i have to practice a lot of restraint when we have them around.

PinkGranny said...

I love these cookies! I baked yesterday too and the house smelled yummy. I made cinnamon rolls and Iced pumpkin pecan cookies. Nothing compares to the smell of good old fashioned baking from scratch. Your cookies look so good.

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

These look great. I love the smell of anything with chocolate in it. Since we've been here in the northern hemisphere it's been great baking for Christmas. Not so good at home, no one wants to put the oven on in the middle of summer. The other thing that smells like European Christmas to me is a pot of mulled wine (spiced wine) on the stovetop. Yummo.

Michele Pacey said...

Scrummy-delish! 18 DOZEN, did I read that right????!!!!
I would love to see a picture of what 18 dozen looks like.

To me, Christmas is nothing without pine or any coniferous tree smell - the real kind not the fake - naturally!

Kerry said...

I have hardly read through this and I already know I am making these tomorrow! Cinnamon pepper and cloves, yum!

Donna~~ said...

These look fabulous! I am on a wheat free diet testing for allergy, but as soon as I can eat them, these are on my list to make!

Cynthia F said...

Ooooh these look incredible! & thank you for sharing the recipe- I think I need to try them, stat!

I love the smell of christmas trees, and when the air smells like snow, lovely!

Chiska said...

I'm going to try these! I think baking bread sweet bread is the smell that says Christmas to me. I would say gingerbread cookies too, but we make it all year long so it's lost some of it's "just Christmas smell."

Flying Blind... said...

Yum!!!
Definitely Christmas trees (not the pine fresh loo cleaner variety!) - I bought ours today - sitting in a bucket of water in the garage until Sunday, then Christmas can start!!

Katherine said...

Mmmm... I think I can almost smell them wafting eastward over the Rockies. ;o)

Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Amy said...

Yummy! Yesterday I made gingerbread chocolate chip cookies and the house smelled great too!

Suzanne said...

Yum! And I agree with your implications about chemical air fresheners. Perhaps I will make your cookies in the coming week.

**nicke... said...

mmmmmmm! i made gingerbread cookies the other day and they are already almost gone! need to make these next!

Patti said...

Yummy! they look so good! My favourite Christmas cookie is a triple ginger cookie that smells so amazing when baking....and has that spicy kick too!

Rebecca Jane said...

Cayenney is my new favourite word. I love the smell of fresh Christmas trees. I'm aiming to make some "Ginger Sparkles" this weekend - they rival the ginger molasses cookies from Starbucks. At least they did when Glennis made them, lets see how mine come out. Enjoy the other 7 dozen.

Live a Colorful Life said...

Yum. These look fabulous! It's hard for me to do much Christmas baking--because I'm too tempted to do a lot of Christmas EATING! But these look totally worth it. Especially with "cayenney" goodness.

traceyjay said...

yum! these look amazing.

Jo Ann said...

Those look amazing! I might have to try that recipe! I love the smell of shortbread, christmas pudding, and gingerbread. The real smell of christmas for me though is the tree!

Leanne said...

I am going to have to give those a try, they sound good. Cinnamon and ginger in the kitchen, pine in the house smell like Christmas to me.

mag3737 said...

When we were in Prague, on some cheesy English (American) satellite TV channel, there were commercials for one of those plug-in air fresheners with a gimmick that it apparently glows or lights up or something. The point they seemed to be making with the commercial was that the "light show" was so fascinating you would actually want to sit around and WATCH your *air freshener*.

happy zombie said...

I see you made it to Trader Joe's!! Mmmm those cookies look yummy! The Tree, tamales and all my aunts and their potpourri of perfumes smell like Christmas to me. Pretty much Christmas smells like family to me!

Dianne said...

Ooo those look yummy Krista!
To me the smell of evergreen boughs or a real tree in the house says Christmas.

Kristen said...

I love these! I love the smell of vanilla in cookies and also pie. I am definitely a lover of pie!

pinksuedeshoe said...

Baking is my air freshener too. I just don't do artificial smell either. My favorite is apple pie I think, but I'll settle for most anything with a good spicy/cinnamony mix. And I am so trying these. They look/sound amazing!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

thanks for the recipe! I tried these out and they were a big hit!! I must have made mine too big, though, because I dont think I got 6 dozen out of one batch! Live and learn!

Katharine said...

Thedough is chilling in my fridge now. Made with whole wheat pastry flour, ground flax seeds in place of eggs, and (local) Belgian chocolate, of course!