Sparkling Spice Crackles

I am always on the lookout for a cookie that’s tasty and beautiful to look at.  In fact, each year I toil over what cookie to bring to my favorite cookie exchange — because most cookies are either yummy or gorgeous, but not both.

For example, Stained Glass Cookies. Beautiful?  Yes.  Delicious?  Well, they’re good but not ahhhhhhmazing. How about my Triple Chocolate Molten Mint cookies?  Delicious?  Oh yeah–like best tasting ever.  Beautiful?  I wouldn’t go that far.

So these Sparkling Spice Crackles are what I settled on for this year’s cookie exchange.  The cookies themselves are richly colored and crackly, and the waves of ginger, cloves and molasses just reach out and hug you with flavor.  They are crunchy on the outside and oh-so-tender on the inside.  Dipped in a white-chocolate melt, the secret to sparkling these up is edible glitter.  It puts the holidazzle right on your cookie platter!

Sparkling Spice Crackles

Sparkling Spice Crackles

Ingredients

4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mild-flavored molasses

1/2 cup turbinado or other coarse sugar

3/4 lb. white almond bark (vanilla flavored candy coating)

Instructions

1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves. In another large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture. Dough will be soft.

2. Shape dough into 2-inch balls. Roll balls in the coarse or pearl sugar. Place 4 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using the bottom of a glass, dipped in additional granulated sugar if necessary to prevent sticking, flatten dough to 3-inch rounds.

3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 11 to 13 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned, tops are puffed (do not overbake) and edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Makes about 20 cookies.

4. Melt white almond bark (or white chocolate) following instructions on package. Add shortening if you need to thin consistency. Dip each cookie partially in melted mixture, and shake off excess. Sprinkle with edible glitter.

Makes 24 large cookies

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