Sunday, October 22, 2006

The best autumn cookie yet

Chinese Five-Spice Oatmeal Cookies
From Sunset

Prep and cook time: About 1 hour. Notes: To toast almonds, place in a baking pan and bake in a 350° oven, shaking often, until golden under skins, about 15 minutes. When cool, whirl in a blender until coarsely ground. Store the cookies airtight for up to 2 days.

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup coarsely ground toasted almonds (see notes)

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, five spice, cinnamon, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in oats and almonds.

3. Drop dough in 1 1/2-tablespoon portions, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

4. Bake cookies in a 350° oven until golden, 12 to 15 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

5. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per cookie.

Yield: Makes about 45 cookies

CALORIES 119(44% from fat); FAT 5.8g (sat 2.8g); PROTEIN 1.8g; CHOLESTEROL 21mg; SODIUM 85mg; FIBER 0.7g; CARBOHYDRATE 15g

From a favorite magazine and my mother's former employer: Sunset Magazine. Especially good when working upstairs and the fragrance slowly makes its way into your room, swirling its magic around and around. Just one, with a hot cuppa, is perfect.

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