Saturday, October 20, 2007

spice cookies & pizza

Yesterday was a dreary, rainy day. Satoshi had to get up early to be in Nara by 8:00 a.m for a softball tournament. This meant I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. Since he didn't have time to eat before he left at 5:45 a.m., I made him a couple of musubi for his breakfast, he was out the door and I was wide awake. I was tired, but once I wake up, it is hard for me to go back to sleep.

So, I decided to bake. I saw a recipe for Chinese five-spice cookies the other day on Leite's Culinaria which intrigued me because I'd only used this spice in savory dishes and never thought to use it in a sweet one.

I cut the recipe in half and got the dough together. The next step was to chill it for 1 hour, so while the dough was chilling, I snoozed.

After an hour, I was refreshed and ready to roll (out the dough that is). The dough was soft and rather easy to work with. The thing about this dough is that you can't handle it too often, so you need to get it to the 1/4 inch thickness pretty much on the first try. The original recipe says to stick the dough into the freezer for 5 minutes after rolling out, but my freezer isn't big enough, so I had to skip this step.

My cookie cutter was quite big, so I didn't end up with many cookies (which was good, I guess). Though I did use my star cutter for the smaller pieces of dough.

Spice cookies adapted from Leite's Culinaria makes about 10 cookies

10 tablespoons flour
1.25 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
10 grinds cinnamon
3 grinds pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup butter (56.75g)
1/2 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the flour with the spices, set aside.
Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
Add the flour mixture and mix well. Shape dough into a flat rectangle, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 190C (375F). Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with cutter.
Place into oven for 12-15 minutes. When done cool on rack.
Serve with black tea and a splash of milk.

NOTES: I really liked this cookie, the pepper from the five spice and ground pepper add a zing to the cookie. It didn't come out hard enough to dunk as the description said it would, though I have a feeling it had to do with the size of the cookies that I made.

For dinner, I going to make pasta, but after seeing Rowena's delicious post, I was tempted to call and order a pizza for dinner. Instead, I took out a tortilla and made my pasta "sauce" with pancetta, eringi mushrooms, onions and pesto, put it onto the tortilla added some cheese and put it under the! Way better than delivery and fast too! (thanks for the idea, Rowena!)

p.s. Last night Satoshi came home from the tournament and is suffering from "muscles that haven't been used in awhile" pain. You can hear him walking around the house saying, "ooh ooh", "aah ah"...quite funny actually.


Monique said...

Five spice cookies definitely sound... special. Is it a bit like Gingerbread cookies?

That tortilla/pizza looks amazing. Great idea for a fast meal. I shall consider making it one of these days! Thanks!

bourgogne said...

i wish had that much energy as you do in the am. yummy post. now i'm hungry.

K and S said...

It reminds me of chai. Have you tasted chai before?

Every since college, I was like this Bourgogne. Guess not having my mom around to wake me up changed me. :)

Take care you two.

Rowena said...

Chinese 5-spice in cookies?! Now that's an interesting idea. I couldn't get over your mention of mochi+leeks+nori+mayo+bacon pizza. I love it! Mochi...hmmm, wonder what kind I would put?

K and S said...

I know Rowena! When I saw it in my reader, I knew I had to try it. I would use plain mochi for the pizza. :)

Take care.

Kathy YL Chan said...

I've been eyeing the same cookie recipe for such a long time! We must have the same taste, hehe :) Now that it's got your seal of approval, I gotta give it a try one day soon!

Loved the last paragraph about muscles would probably hurt just as much after any sort of physcial exercise, lol! :)

Hope you're having a good weekend!

K and S said...

let me know how you like it Kathy, it didn't come out as crisp as they said it would.

Have a good weekend!

Parisbreakfasts said...

I love getting up at 5AM.
You can knock on my door anytime Kat. It gives you FOUR free hours to mess about without feeling guilty!
5-spice..always wondered about that?

K and S said...

Next time I need to wake up at 5 I'll hang with you, Carol!

Take care.

nordwolke said...

Mmmh! Self-made Pizza! :)

K and S said...

nothing beats home-made, Beadexplorer!

thanks for stopping by and take care.

Brilynn said...

I never thought to use 5 spice on cookies but I could definitely see it working, sounds good!

K and S said...

Thanks Brilynn! Take care.