Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mace Lemon Sugar Cookies

Mace Lemon Sugar Cookies 

I received a nice big assortment of spices as a gift not too long ago.  How fun is that!? The box contained many spices I've never used or purchased before.  Celery Salt, California Sweet Basil, French Thyme, White Pepper, Marjoram, Turkish Seasoning, Vietnamese Cinnamon, and Double Strength Pure Vanilla Extract.  I started to search around on the internet for some inspiration as to how to use some of these spices and, when I was looking up mace, I found that mace and nutmeg are related. Specifically, I learned this:

The nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans, is the only tree that produces two separate spices. The fruit contains a hard pit, which is a nutmeg, while the lacy red membrane which surrounds it is mace. The delicate membrane is carefully peeled away from the shell of the nutmeg and spread to dry in the sun, fading from bright red to orangy-brown as it dries.

Mace is a common ingredient in Northern European cooking, showing up in hearty vegetable dishes, cream sauces, and sausages. In baking, mace can be used as a substitute for nutmeg; its mellower flavor is especially nice with fruits or delicate pastries. It’s delicious in pumpkin pie or baked winter squash dishes.


Since I love cookies, the first thought I had was to use the mace in some sugar cookies.  I did not have to look far to find a great sounding recipe and, as luck would have it, I had all the ingredients on hand.  And they way my brain works, if I have all the ingredients on hand, the Universe is telling me that I MUST bake these cookies.  I made the cookies and they were fantastic. 

I think these sugar cookies are unusual because the recipe calls for brown sugar and vegetable oil.  The recipe specifies the flour should be sifted but I was too lazy for that.  Also, the recipe specifies that the dough balls should be flattened using a buttered drinking glass.  My dough was very moist and loose and I did not feel the cookies needed to be flattened.  Instead, I portioned out the dough using my cookie scoop and then just sprinkled a very small amount of the sugar topping on each cookie.  As you can see from the photos, the cookies spread out nicely.  Since I did not flatten the cookies with a buttered drinking glass coated in the sugar topping, I probably only used a few teaspoons of the sugar topping and threw the rest away.  When I make this recipe again, I'll just measure out a few teaspoons of sugar for the topping and add in just a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of mace.  The recipe source is here:



2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. mace
2 eggs
2/3 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
2 tsp. lemon juice

TOPPING (see notes above)

1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. mace

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and mace. combine remaining ingredients and beat until thick. Stir in dry ingredients and beat until thick. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet. Combine sugar, nutmeg and mace. Lightly butter bottom of a glass; dip in sugar mixture and press cookies flat (see notes above). Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

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