Chinese Five Spice Snickerdoodles
I ordered some Chinese Five Spice from Amazon as part of my routine to regularly incorporate new ingredients into my cooking. I do this every couple of months—it may be a gadget, a spice blend, or a cooking technique. But it keeps me engaged in cooking and helps me not fall into ruts. When you get Chinese Five Spice, it should be a blend of star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, and Szechuan peppercorns. There are some blends called Five Spice (not Chinese Five Spice), and they don’t have the Szechuan peppercorns. Just be on the lookout, and make sure it’s the authentic blend.
Sally’s Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookie recipes. The dough is perfect, and the cinnamon and sugar are so festive. When I ordered the Chinese Five Spice, the suggestion on the jar was for a sweet dessert, something chocolatey. I thought, then, wouldn’t it be interesting to remake Pumpkin Snickerdoodles into Five Spice Snickerdoodles? Yes. They turned out great!
One confession—I reached for what I thought was vanilla extract and put it in the dough. Oops! It was coconut extract, and it actually works better with Five Spice than vanilla. You can use vanilla if you don’t have coconut (because everyone probably has vanilla, but not coconut). But if you do have coconut, use it.
I like these cookies to be very dense and chewy. If you like them cakey, add one egg white to the mixture along with the whole egg (trial and error). Also, I always like to sift together the dry ingredient before adding them to the wet ingredients. It just helps everything mix evenly, and it gets out any lumps.
Total Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Makes: 18 cookies
1 stick of unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar, divided
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. It should take about 30 seconds to one minute. (Watch carefully so it doesn’t pop. You can even loosely cover the bowl.)
- Add the brown sugar and ½ cup of the white sugar to the butter mixture. With an electric hand mixer, cream the mixture on medium until fully incorporated.
- Add the coconut extract and the egg to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix on medium until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of the cinnamon, and Chinese Five Spice.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in stages and mix with the electric mixer. Don’t add it all at once!
- Mix well until well combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes (but an hour is better).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a shallow dish, add the remaining ½ cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and toss together with a fork.
- Roll the cookies into balls, and then roll each ball into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. When you put each ball on the cookie sheet, press it down just a little with your fingers.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Less time yields a softer cookie, and more time yields a crunchier cookie.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
(originally inspired by White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles by Sally’s Baking Addiction)