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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nutmeg Softies

It is my personal opinion that nutmeg is an underrated and underused spice. Its flavor is one of my favorites, especially in egg nog and french toast, or anywhere it combines with vanilla. And I always double it when called for in spice combinations, like in apple pie or spiced hermits.

So I was excited and so curious when I found this recipe for a cookie that showcases nutmeg alone. The name is appropriate - the nutmeg is strong and sweet, and these roll and cut cookies are almost cake soft. Homey and comforting yet subtle. And very popular with 2-year-olds.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 to 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
Colored coarse sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with electric mixter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides. Beat in sour cream, egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in the flour. Dough will be sticky. Divide dough into thirds. Cover and chill dough about 2 hours, until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface, roll one third of the dough at a time until about 1/4 inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are firm and bottoms are golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.


Maren said...

Yum- these look a lot like Western sugar cookies (with the sour cream in there), but the nutmeg is a great addition.

Shauna said...

You may not ever get this message, but I recently stumbled on your site, and I'm in love (with the recipes). This morning I made our family's favorite standby muffins, and I thought about this recipe, and what you said about nutmeg -- because the muffins have nutmeg in them, of course. They are called French Breakfast Puffs (though my kids call them Cinnamon topped muffins), and they are in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Have you ever tried them?

Seasons said...

Shauna, these are one of our familie's all time favorite recipes! When we were leaving Cape Cod, in 1999, my kids were ages 3 & 5, and we were on our way home from a sabbatical of 5 weeks of traveling up the coast, the time of our lives. We stopped for me to jump out of the rental car and grab 2 coofees to go, from a local bakery. Being who I am, I eyed the bakery case, and the French Puffs just spoke to me! I ordered some, and then I hunted for a recipe for years. One day I discovered a recipe in a cookbook I had already had a few years- a bed & breakfast cookbook! The rest is history, so they say, in our family- these have been made so many times! I have also seen them called doughnut muffins, like on King Arthur Flour's website. They are also sooo delicious made with pumpkin! Yum to all, can't wait to try these cookies, too!

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