Photograph by Peden + Munk Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Faux Bois Cookies

Desserts from Issue 2 – Fall / Winter 2013 – Traces

Tapping trees to gather crystalline maple sap clusters is a tradition that dates back to the Native Americans. The resulting sweetened syrup serves as the centerpiece of this swirling semifreddo, while a faux bois cookie perched alongside mirrors the trees themselves.

serves about 18 cookies

  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • cup molasses
  • ½ tsp vanilla

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • 2

    Whisk together flour, spices and salt. Set aside.

  • 3

    Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined, then molasses and vanilla. Stir in spiced flour until just combined.

  • 4

    Divide dough into two discs wrapping each in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

  • 5

    Roll a portion of dough on a piece of parchment into a 9×13-inch rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Brush mold lightly with cinnamon and evenly press into dough. Slide paper onto a baking sheet and chill or freeze dough at least 10 minutes.

  • 6

    Transfer dough, still on paper to a work surface. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to an ungreased baking sheet freezing briefly if dough gets too soft to move.

  • 7

    Bake until cookies are crisp and brown, rotating halfway through, 12 to 20 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.