In the kitchen: Spice Star Cookies

Just got a call from the camera shop- Pookie has to be shipped back to the factory for repairs, which means no pics until after the holidays. I kinda knew this was going to happen. Cameras are tricky beasts- there is never EVER a good time to send them to the factory. Imagine some gorgeous, brown cookies with a sprinkle of… sprinkles. Now, read on…

It’s that time of year again. Having not finished off all the recipes from Ms. Stewart’s Holiday Cookies from last season, I am taking another hack at it.

First recipe: Spice Stars.

These things are crispy and so delicious, yet insanely time consuming. I didn’t realize, until after I’d already started, that the dough required chilling, and by the time I got to that stage I was due at a party. so instead of pulling the dough out of the fridge two hours later, I ended up leaving it in for an evening and baking it the next morning. Maybe that affected the dough somewhat? I say that, because each time I rolled out the dough, which required a flour coat to keep it from sticking, it got warm and… stuck. I only managed to cut and bake half of the recipe. If anyone has any ideas on how to keep this from happening, I’d love to hear them.

Note: It just occurred to me- mostly because I’m slow in the mornings (which is when I started writing this) that Martha is the Mistress of Time Management. Seriously. I got my cute little act together after a slow day of nothing much and found out I had no flour and no dark corn syrup. So I had to scamper to the store, deal with the employees who didn’t even know where the Karo was kept or if they even had some in the store (and this is a national chain, people!) . Then I get home and realize that 1.) it is 5pm, 2.) the dough has to chill for 2 hours, 3.) I have no parchment paper, and d.) I have to stop what I’m doing at exactly 7pm to get ready for a party.

Martha would have handled this better. She would have awakened at 7am, gone for a walk, made a birdhouse, eaten breakfast, started getting her ingredients together and started baking right then instead of putzing around, sending resumes and fuming at the gorgeous weather outside… I hate Martha.

Slight adaptations- I didn’t use parchment, so instead of leaving the cookies on the baking sheets to cool on racks I flipped them onto the rack toot sweet before they had time to get hard and stick.

Spice Stars (adapted from Mdm. Martha)
Yield: 5 dozen

I cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
5 cups sifted AP flour (and more for work surface)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten

Sprinkles for decoration.


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter with sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt into another large bowl, then stir into butter mixture. Stir in eggs until batter is smooth, then refrigerate until firm- about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll out the first on a lightly floured work surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out stars with a cookie cutter. Transfer them to baking sheets and decorate with sprinkles.
  4. Bake until edges are golden brown- 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

I took these to a party and they got et, so as far as I’m concerned they were a complete success. Very good with tea. Or beer. Or nog.

Happy Holidays!


One response to “In the kitchen: Spice Star Cookies

  1. >these sound good, I love that mix of spices. I’m with ya on the time management piece–I’m lucky if my socks match most days, and I’ve never been able to squeeze in bird house construction 🙂

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