Spice Cookies

The first thought that crossed my mind as I opened my eyes on January 1st is that I'd seen candied orange peel in mum's 'stash' which meant that I could try out a recipe for spice cookies that I have been eying for many months now. I came out of my room to tell my sisters and mum this, and even showed them the recipe, and everyone hmm-ed and haaw-ed without being too impressed. I was hoping they'd be as excited by the recipe as I was, and we'd make them right away, and discover that these were the cookies we'd been waiting for all our lives. 

I finally convinced mum to make these yesterday. We set to work early, and by the time we were done with breakfast, the cookies were ready and the pantry smelled like the inside of a fruitcake, which can only be a good sign. Once the cookies were glazed, Mum took her first bite and the look on her face made me want to say 'I told you so'. It's everything you want a spice cookie to be- warm, fruity in certain places, chocolately in others- but it's also something you wouldn't expect from a spice cookie- bright and freshly flavoured from the glaze which is really the icing on the cake (cookie!). 

I know the holidays are over, but if you're having trouble getting back into the swing of things, maybe these cookies are for you- a little reminiscent of a christmas fruit cake, a little chocolatey and a whole lot of delicious. 

note: these spice cookies are meant to be soft. However, if you'd like them a little crisp, once you roll them out into rounds, gently press the top, flattening it just a little bit. And increase the baking time by a few minutes. 

Spice Cookies

adapted from Jerusalem

makes 20


2 tbsp black currant

3 tbsp orange juice

1 tsp lime zest

120 g flour

75 g chocolate, a mix of both finely grated and roughly grated

½ egg

60 g unsalted butter, softened

60 g castor sugar

¼ tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp  (a pinch) soda bi carbonate

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ginger powder 


2 tbsp lime juice

70 g icing sugar

2 tbsp candied orange peel, chopped fine


Soak the black currants in the orange juice for 10 minutes and drain.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and ginger powder together. Add the baking powder and soda bi carbonate.

Beat the butter, sugar and lime zest together for 2 minutes.

Add the egg and mix for another minute.

Now add the dry ingredients followed by the currants and mix well.

Remove the mixer, and gently knead the dough with your hand until it comes together, and is uniform.

Roll into small rounds approximately 25 g each. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure there’s 2 inches of space between each round.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the top is firm but the center is still slightly soft.

Remove from oven, and let cool for 5 minutes, after which transfer to a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, mix the lime juice and icing sugar for the glaze.

When the cookies are only slightly warm, carefully spoon a tablespoon of the glaze on top of each cookie. Top with a few pieces of the orange peel.

When fully cool, transfer to an airtight container.