My sweet friend Yajaira has a cookie party every year. Folks bring 3 dozen cookies, everyone pigs out on cookies, then votes on their favorite from a bunch of different categories. I haven't been able to go for the past several years because it conflicts with a craft show that is always the same day. However, by the luck of the stars the craft show this year is a week later so I was able to go. Hooray!
I wanted to make a cookie that was reminiscent of my favorite place in the world Zanzibar. This little island off Tanzania is also the inspiration for my Zanzibar Spice candle. It's known as the spice island because so many are grown there. They have cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla as well as a bunch of yummy exotic fruit. I wanted something that was similar to a ginger snap but softer and with more complex spices. My son's friend Jack has a nice ginger cookie recipe which I used as the starting point for mine. I decreased the amount of ginger in his recipe, increased the vanilla and cardamom and made it a flat cookie because I wanted to decorate them to look like the henna designs that women in Zanzibar use on special occasions. I used royal icing flavored with lime (also popular in Zanzibari cooking) to cover the whole cookie a pretty blue then piped a henna design on top of the blue. I'd never used royal icing before so I was pretty pleased with how they came out. And I won the "most child enticing" category. LOL
Zanzibar Spice Cookies
3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
2 stick butter (softened)
2/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup caster or powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
2. Measure all of the dry ingredients except the brown sugar into a medium bowl and mix
3. In an electric mixer cream the butter, brown sugar, and molasses.
4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.
5. Shape the dough into a log, wrap with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
7. Bake on a parchment lined sheet for 8 minutes.
8. Let cookies cool for a few minutes before removing them from the sheet. Place on a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.