Earth Day Cookies
Today We Celebrate 50 years of Earth Day!
Parsees at Prayer by Horace van Ruith (1839-1923)
Parsees worshipping Ava Yazad and the sea on the shorelines of Bombay.
In Zoroastrianism, nature is sacred. When a Zoroastrian traditionally stepped out in the morning, he bowed to all four corners of the Earth, reciting a little prayer called the Char Deesha no Namaskar:
“I bow in reverence to the entire creation of Ahura Mazda, to the cities, the open fields, to the houses, the waters, the EARTH, the trees and the sky, the pure winds, the stars, the moon, the sun; all sources of bright light and to all men and women who tread the Path of Truth. I bow to them all.”
- YIELD 2 dozen cookies
- TIME 45 minutes, plus chilling
- 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso (not instant espresso) or finely ground coffee
- ½ cup/115 grams cold unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 cups/255 grams all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons malted milk powder, such as Carnation brand
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup/165 grams light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
- ¼ cup/50 grams granulated sugar, for rolling
- ½ cup/50 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling
- Put espresso or coffee in a small metal bowl. Put butter in a small saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, swirling and stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until nutty brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the butter to the bowl with the espresso and stir to combine. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the rest of the cookie.
- Combine the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly and set aside.
- Combine eggs and light brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well combined and slightly paler, about 3 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
- Add the vanilla and the butter mixture, then mix on low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture, then mix again on low until combined. Transfer dough to a resealable glass or plastic container, and chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar into two separate bowls. Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough into heaping tablespoons (about 25 grams each). Roll into smooth balls and drop a few at a time into the bowl of granulated sugar, rolling to coat. Transfer to the bowl with the confectioners’ sugar. Roll gently, coating well, then transfer to a parchment- or silicone mat-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies. Place in freezer until firm, about 10 minutes.
- Bake until cookies are golden underneath but still quite tender (they will firm up as they cool), 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheets and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.