Keep in mind that the dough needs a few hours of chilling. Store these cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Servings: 48 cookies
- For the cookies
- 1 cup almond flour (see NOTE)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 5 saffron threads (optional)
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Scrapings from 2 vanilla beans (may substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- For the coating
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup white sesame seeds
- 48 black currants
For the cookies: Combine the flours, baking soda, salt, curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, coconut and saffron, if using, in a large bowl. Whisk or stir to mix well. (Or combine those ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds to combine.)
Combine the butter, vanilla bean scrapings and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or use a handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop to add the sugars; resume beating on medium speed. Add the eggs and beat until well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, beating until just incorporated each time.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease with nonstick cooking oil spray.
For the coating: Combine the egg whites and water in a small bowl. Place the sesame seeds in a separate small bowl.
To form the cookies, scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it between your hands, making a 1-inch ball. Use a slotted spoon to dip the ball in the egg wash, then roll it in the sesame seeds. Place on the baking sheet and repeat until all the dough is used; the balls should be spaced about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown; the tops might crack a bit. While the cookies are warm, use a toothpick or skewer to poke a hole in the top of each one. Press a currant into each hole, leaving enough of the currant visible so it peaks out. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE: Almond flour is available at larger Giant stores and at some Whole Foods Markets. You can make 1 cup of almond flour by putting 2 cups of skinless, blanched almonds in a food processor and pulsing until they are finely ground. Do not overpulse.
Adapted from Krishna Brown's Arlington-based ShoeBox Oven online bakery.
Tested by Emily Heil.
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