Well, it’s begun. I have chosen my recipes, ordered my meats, groceries, wine and shmura matzah. Now it’s time to begin baking. Some of the cookies are best made just a day or two ahead, but these cookies will easily last a month in a tin with a tight-fitting lid. They are a personal favorite of mine and serve as a nice foil to the very sweet almond and coconut cookies I make. I especially love the spice cookies with coffee in the morning. They are nice and gingery with a pleasant spiciness that gets just a bit of a kick from the cracked black pepper that I add.
Orange Ginger Spice Cookies adapted from Passover Desserts by Penny W. Eisenberg
Yields: 2 dozen cookies
1 1/3 cups granulated white sugar
2 Tablespoons potato starch
12 Tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter or buttery vegan sticks, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon dried ground ginger
1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon
About 5-6 cracks of fresh black pepper
Dash of Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons plus a little more as needed of fresh orange juice
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature (See Note)
1 1/3 cups matzah cake meal
Additional granulated sugar mixed with a little cinnamon for rolling the cookies in (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup with about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line 2 heavy-duty baking pans with parchment
- Place the sugar and potato starch in the bowl of a food processor along with the ginger and cinnamon. Pulse until everything is finely ground and well mixed. Add the butter or margarine, orange juice and the egg yolks and process until well blended.
- Add the matzah cake meal 1/3 cup at at time and pulse until well mixed. If the dough falls apart when you try to form a ball, add more orange juice 1 teaspoon at a time until it will stay together when rolled in your hands.
- Shape the dough into balls that are about 1.5 inches in diameter and roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on the cookie sheet lined with parchment.
- Place in the oven and bake for 11 minutes. Then remove the pan from the oven and using a water glass that is about 3 inches in diameter, gently press down on the now softened dough ball to make a flat cookie with a slightly crackly edge.
Return the pan to the oven and bake about 9 more minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the parchment to wire racks and cool completely. Store in an air tight container.
Note: Save your egg whites to make the Almond Florentine Cookies – recipe to follow.