M sure does like his cookies so I’m always happily on the lookout for something new and different to try. There are several tried-and-trues that, although easy to make and proven successes, have lost their luster for me, the baker. M’s cookie texture taste tends to veer more toward the thick, chewy and chunky so I set out to make the complete opposite, something thin, light and crispy.
These Almond Spice Wafers are a variation on Moravian Spice Cookies, which are traditionally made with molasses, rolled, and have the reputation of being the world’s thinnest cookie. The Moravian Spice Cookie originated from the Moravian Church community during Colonial times in Old Salem, North Carolina, are similar to the German debauchee and have additional roots in Austria. There are recipes that date back as far as the 1700s. Quite the lineage!
My recipe originated from a very different and more contemporary source… Martha Stewart.
The main difference is that these Almond Spice Wafers are made with brown sugar instead of molasses and instead of being rolled thin, the dough is pressed into a mini loaf pan, frozen (I allowed mine to freeze overnight) and sliced thin before the cookies are baked. A sharp knife and a steady hand are key to completing the task of slicing the cookies as thin as possible.
The finished product was indeed thin but a far cry from being the thinnest cookie in the world. I leave that to the Moravians.
Almond Spice Wafers
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1. Line 2 mini loaf pans with plastic wrap.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed for 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs and spices. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions.
3. Press cookie dough into pans, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours (or up to 1 month).
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from 1 pan. Let soften slightly. Cut eight 1/8-inch-thick slices with a sharp knife. Cover remaining dough, and freeze in pan until ready to slice and bake.
5. Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat. Top each with 2 to 3 almond slices. Freeze until firm, 5 minutes. Bake until dark golden brown, 10 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack. Repeat.