Cookies and Christmas just go together. Every year I make a batch of Five Spice cookies, a spice cookie I came up with, inspired by Four-Spice Crackles. They add an Oriental flair to any Christmas cookie line up, and are a favorite around our house.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons Chinese Five-Spice powder (yes, that much)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup molasses
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and five-spice powder and set aside.
In another large bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, shortening and molasses with a hand mixer until blended and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended. Add the rest of the flour and beat until just blended. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 1/ 2 hours or until firm enough to shape into small balls.
Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease your hands and roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in course (turbinado) sugar. Place about 2 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray, or lined with parchment paper.
Bake on the upper rack 9 to 12 minutes until cookies are cracked and slightly soft in the center. Bake in batches so you don't over fill the oven. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Five-spice cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 1 month.
If you can't find course sugar, you can substitute regular sugar, it just won't look so pretty.