Happy Boxing Day! There are some conflicting ideas out there about what Boxing Day is, what the name means, and why it is a holiday. My mum says that December 26th was the de facto Christmas for all of the people who had to work on Christmas Day. For example, all of the servants who served fancy holiday dinners to their wealthy employers. The leftovers from the fancy meals would be boxed up and sent home with the workers, so that they could share with their own families on boxing day.
For the holidays, I am with my mother on Maui, where I spent the second half of my childhood. When I was in highschool, my mother and I threw a Boxing Day tea every year. No one in Hawaii celebrates Boxing Day and it was our chance to throw our culture into the already very diverse mix by inviting everyone that we knew over for British/ Canadian cakes, cookies and tea. We are not having a big tea party this year, but I did make these excellent (if I do say so myself) spice cookies. They are good with coffee or tea or leftover eggnog.
BOXING DAY ALMOND SPICE COOKIES (GLUTEN FREE)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed light muscovado or light brown sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup teff flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 teaspoon maldone salt or fleur de sel
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon clove
- 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup crystalized ginger, minced
- 1 heaping teaspoon grated or minced orange zest
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer), cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the egg and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, teff flour, tapioca starch, salt, and baking soda.
- Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until the dough comes together.
- Add the spices, almonds, crystalized ginger and orange zest and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. With the help of the parchment, roll the dough into a log that is about 2 inches in diameter and 12 inches long. Wrap the log with the parchment and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- While the dough cools, pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Cut the log into 24, 1/2-inch disks. Place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches in between the cookies.
- Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until edges set and start to turn golden. They might look a bit underdone, but this is fine as they harden a bit when they cool. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before trying to lift them.
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