Friday, January 2, 2009

Moravian Spice Crisps

"We will open the book.

Its pages are blank.

We are going out to put words on them ourselves.

The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day"

-Author Unknown

So lets start the New Year with something sweet.Not just sweet,but spicy as well.To depict the sweeter beginnings we expect and also various experiences-good & bad that may occur on purpose & accidently and spice up or leave a permanent mark on our life.So what better than Moravian Spice Crisps.

Moravian crisps are papery thin crispy cookies supposed to be from Czechoslovakian states or generally and currently from areas under the infuence of Moravian Church.Moravian Church is a Protestant Group that originated in Bohemia,currently Czech Republic.In US,areas like North Carolina,Pennsylvania,Winston Salem etc. have strong influence and are the largest Moravian Communities.Moravian spice cookies/crisps are traditionally baked during Christmas and are related to German lebkuchen.They blend molasses and spices and are rolled out ultra thin and has the reputation as the "World's Thinnest Cookie".

The traditional method involves a lot of rolling and boiling of molasses and butter,though there are new easier methods(similar to normal cookies)which have been adopted to make these cookies.There are also modern versions with chocolate,sugar,black walnuts etc.I found a perfect basic yet new method recipe here and with little substitutions made these ultra thin cookies.Considering my baking skills,I will not say they came out perfect ,but tastewise they were more than perfect and apt for New Year.

Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour: 3/4 cup
Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Ground: 1/2 tsp
Powdered Ginger:1/2 tsp
White Pepper: 1/2 tsp (I used black pepper here)
Powdered Cloves: 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/4 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Light Brown Sugar: 1/3 cup (roughly 5 and half tbsp)
Unsalted Butter: 3tbsp softened
Mild Molasses: 1/4 cup (I used Dark Corn syrup)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine flour,baking powder,baking soda,salt,powdered cinnamon,clove,ginger and white pepper in a bowl.I used black pepper as I did not have white one.Here this works as a substitute as the cookie is brown in colour and it won't show,though it adds to spiciness.Normally in recipes with white/light end products this substitute will not work.Here we are using brown sugar and molasses.So the colour of the cookie is brown and the pepper will not show.Feel free to avoid it entirely as well.But I liked the sweet spicy cookie.

In a big bowl cream the softened butter and brown sugar with a mixer at low speed till blended and creamy for about 3 minutes.Add in molasses/corn syrup and blend at medium speed.Add the flour mix (in batches if needed)and with a spoon blend very well until you get a sticky crumbly dough.Light molasses are must in this cookies.Do not use strong/robust/blackstrap molasses.If you do not have light molasses,use either dark corn syrup(Karo syrup) or generally substitute 1 cup of light molasses with 1/2 cup strong molasses + 1/2 cup honey.

Drop teaspoonfuls of dough 4 inches apart on the greased cookie sheet.Shape it into a 2 inch circle.What I did was,I put a teaspoon of dough on the sheet and kept a inch round cookie cutter surroounding it such that the dough was at the centre of the cutter(well, almost centre).Then shaped it within the cookie cutter using fingers though backside of the spoons can also be used.The cookie cutter makes it a bit easier though only thing to make sure is to have an even circle.You can use other methods as well.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until they spread and get evenly browned.Take out and let it warm in the same sheet for about 3 minutes.Then using a square spoon/ladle/pancake turner,remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

The above estimate gives about 4 dozen cookies,though the recipe says only 3 dozens.I baked 2 dozens but still had almost half the dough.The dough freezes well wrapped in wax paper and plastic wrap(the dough is sticky and has molasses/corn syrup.So wax paper+ plastic wrap is a must for better care) for upto 2 weeks.Baked cookies can be frozen upto 1 month or stored in an airtight container for about 10 days.I did not have to store that long.Almost 15 were over just after baking(I baked these 2 nights ago ) and rest the next day.

The cookies are spicy and sweet and crispy & crunchy just as they wanted to be.A warm batch ready to be packed are going to spice up Meeta's MonthlyMingle where she is awaiting traditional spice cookies from all around the world.


There is no Sincerer Love than The Love of Food - Bernardshaw.
Lets fill 2009 with Lots of Love

36 Comments:

anudivya said...

These look real crispy! Do you think I could use Whole wheat flour instead of AP flour and still get these beauties the way they look at your blog?
happy 2009 :)

soma said...

Very Similar spices to what I used, But they look so different! I guess becoz of the use of molasses.. This one is a new one to me too.

wasn't the blend of spicy & sweet great?

Happy New Year!
Soma(www.ecurry.com)

Vibaas said...

They look very crispy. Happy New Year, dear!

Vij said...

This is somethin new to me! looks lovely.
Thanks for the wishes dear!
Ya my cousins need to listen to lot more tales after S leaves (lolzzz)...he he...

Sunshinemom said...

I love the way you keep trying out different things from almost every part of the world!! I am a little scared about that - still on tried and tested ground! Cookies look great - using baking soda and powder in cookies at the same time must have made it very crispy!

jayasree said...

They look real thin and crisp. Bookmarked.

Anonymous said...

Not only the crispiness,but the spices you used make it special..wonderful looking and a worth try..

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

i am sure these cookies taste terrific with the powdered spices in it. looks crisp and very tempting.

Raaga said...

these look lovely... I wish I could grab a bite.

Happy New Year

sowmya said...

nice recipe and i love the ingredients you have used..looks crispy..

Alka said...

These look perfect,and since it has that spicy kick,i wud be more than happy to share these(i mean ofcourse u will offer and i will oblige he he he he)

rekhas kitchen said...

wow thats looks so crisp and very tempting sweatha

sriharivatsan said...

First time to your blog. Nice recipies..Crisy cookies..

Wish you a happy new year..

Priya said...

Cripsy cookies looks awesome...this is new to me..Happy 2009!!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Crisps looks so perfect. Nice recipe... YUM!

Happy new year!!!....

Cham said...

Wow looks like a lace cookies... Great way to spice up and start the Year. Happy New Year!

Navita said...

Hi, first time here. U got a lovely place girl.

M new to ur blog n blogosphere.
Swing by my lil place sometime plz.:)

Happy New Year!

Navita said...

hey tht was an error..this is my 2 nd time at ur place...guess we need to meet more often :P

Madhuram said...

This recipe is a keeper Sweatha. It uses only 3 tbspns butter, no eggs, yields 4 dozen cookies. What else do we need in a recipe. Good one. Happy New Year to you too.

Simran said...

I love thin crunchy cookies. And with this heady spice mixture, they sound just yummy

Adlak's tiny world said...

so thin and crispy.. feel the crispy taste from here....

Anisheetu said...

Cookies look really very crispy... check the award page of my blog some awards waiting for u... Happy new year..

notyet100 said...

loved ur post,..

Mandira said...

Happy New Year to you and your family! The crisps look great.

Meeta K said...

Delightful! I love the crispiness - perfect for the mingle. thanks!

Bellini Valli said...

I like the sound of a spicier cookie.

Sharmi said...

very nice post and info.

Premyscakes said...

They look very crunchy. Feel like having a big bite.

Viki Xavier. said...

Gorgeous crisps dear. Happy New Year.

Usha said...

Sounds fantastic,have bookmarked this recipe to try soon :-)

Jude said...

Looks perfect to me... Seems thin and crisp, just as you described.

If it's anything like lebkuchen then I know I'm going to like this :)

Yasmeen said...

Sounds so much like the ginger cookies recipe I just posted.Love the crispy texture.

Cynthia said...

Happy New Year!

DEESHA said...

that looks really perfect. Happy 2009

Indranee said...

Lovely crispy cookies...have a great year ahead!!

Aparna said...

Your cookies look absolutely crisp. Shaping them must have taken quite some time though. y look worth the effort.

Happy New Year.

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