12 Days of Christmas Cookies
Moravian Christmas Cookies are paper-thin, crispy, spiced molasses cookies. Sweet and gingery, they taste a bit like gingerbread but are waaaay more addicting!
Let me boil down my college experience for you. At Wake Forest I learned a lot about math and French, a little about everything else including keg stands (I know. College. Insert rolling eye emoticon here…), and that Moravian Christmas Cookies (MCC) are the things that sweet dreams are made of.
Wake Forest is located in the booming metropolis of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 😉 And while it is best known for Krispy Kreme…oh you didn’t know the first Krispy Kreme was in Winston-Salem? You thought it was started somewhere hip and trendy like Charlotte? Nope. Fun fact Tuesday.
Anyways…the town was originally settled by Moravians who are long gone but their delectable wafer-thin spice cookies live on.
I didn’t even like crispy cookies before college. If I even spotted a hint of brown edges, I was moving on. Next!
But MCCs stole my heart before I even had a chance to say no.
My parent’s friends gave me a “Welcome to Winston” care package and inside was Moravian sugar and Christmas cookies. I initially eyed the paper-thin, crispy cookies with disdain and set them aside, but I don’t need to tell you that school food is lack-luster at best. I won’t even tell you what I ate everyday for lunch for 4 years straight. It’s embarrassing. And, no, it wasn’t fried. #healthyeating #moreroomforcookies
It wasn’t long before I was opening that box of Moravian Christmas Cookies.
These cookies come in sleeves like Thin Mints. And like Thin Mints, I consider it a personal challenge not to eat the entire sleeve in one sitting.
Capital “A” addicting!
There should probably be a warning label of sorts.
If you love gingersnaps, gingerbread or any variation of sugar molasses cookies then you will adore Moravian Christmas Cookies. Adore.
It took me a few batches to nail the thickness (or thinness as the case may be with these cookies) and the baking time. There is a 20 second window between crispy perfection and burned. Don’t fret! I’ve done all the trouble shooting for you!
Can you see the difference between the two cookies in the photo above? The top one is the appropriate thickness and the bottom one was rolled more to the thickness of construction paper. After baking the cookie is just shy of 1mm. It’s time to practice those rolling skills!
The keys to rolling success*
* that I learned the hard way
- Roll them thin. When I say paper-thin, I mean paper-thin. Not cardboard-thin, not construction-paper-thin, not heavy-gauge-wedding-invitation-thin. Printer-paper-thin. They actually puff to double the thickness in the oven.
- Use a liberal amount of bench flour. Cover thy service with flour. You’re going to need it.
- But don’t cover the top with flour, just tap your hand on the counter and rub it on the rolling pin. You don’t want to see flour on the surface.
- Brush away excess surface flour with a clean, dry pastry brush. Do you know what flour tastes like when it bakes at 375 for 6 minutes? You don’t want to. It’s bitter and gross.
- I only rerolled my scraps once because of all the bench flour. Otherwise you work too much flour in the dough, which will make your cookies tough and tasteless. You want them to be thin like paper but not taste like it!
- Be gentle. Roll with love. A gentle, loving touch is the key to all good pastry. I learned that in culinary school. You’re welcome.
- You know your dough is thin enough when you can see the counter. It changes color from a dark molasses to a light brown sugar color. Congrats! You’ve arrived!
- There will come a time in the rolling process when you cannot lift the sheet of dough to get more flour under the center and your center is sticking and not rolling thinner. That’s okay. Gently roll out the edges to the proper thickness, cut with cookie cutter, and remove to your baking pan. Next, gently run an offset spatula under the dough and flip it over using both hands (with lots of love or it will tear – dough knows when you are frustrated. Trust me.). Sprinkle more flour and continue rolling and cutting. See. Problem solved sans tears.
- You can lightly dip your cookie cutter in flour and then tap off the excess.
- The store-bought MCC are perfectly flat. To achieve this you can bake the cookies with a second baking sheet on top. But, come-on, life’s little imperfections are what make homemade a million times better than store-bought. No?
- Send a picture of your paper-thin masterpieces to all your friends and family. Bask in the accolades. Come on, you’ve earned it!
- There was a brief moment in time when I thought I would use my KitchenAid pasta attachment for this rolling process. Ha! The dough is too fragile for that. There isn’t enough moisture or gluten to allow for short cuts. Unless you have an industrial-grade sheeter lying around, fuggetabout-it.
These Moravian Christmas Cookies are for the ninth day of my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies! You won’t want to miss the Cranberry Cinnamon Jam Bars, Rum Refrigerator Cookies, or Cardamom Walnut Snowballs, Spiced Crinkle Cookies, Coconut Peppermint Pretzel Bark, Old Fashioned Date Pinwheels, Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies, Nana’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!!Print