Serious Eats: Recipes

Serious Cookies: Swiss Cinnamon Crisps

[Photographs: Gina DePalma]

20091130-cookieman.jpgWhen it comes to holiday baking, I find that is always necessary to balance the more intricate and time consuming cookies with those that require little effort, no waste and optimal taste. These Swiss Cinnamon Crisps fit the bill perfectly.

I'm not entirely sure how authentically Swiss they are; I lifted the recipe from my mother's old, tattered, paperback edition of McCall's Cookie Collection, copyright 1965. I clearly remember that book as the cornerstone of my cookie-making experience from the age of eight onward. The first brownie recipe I ever attempted is in there, along with a pleasing mix of classics mixed with funky retros like Chinese Chews and Tudor Roses. The recipes still work perfectly today.

Any cookie labeled "crisp" has instant appeal to me. The other feature that makes these a great choice for mass-multitude holiday baking is the use of a knife or pastry roller to cut the dough into strips, thus avoiding the dilemma of having scraps leftover to re-roll.

The healthy dose of cinnamon makes this buttery dough absolutely delectable. I don't find the need to alter a thing, but for those of you who long to experiment, the recipe lends itself to variation: You could easily add a variety of spices and flavorings, and/or add some finely ground walnuts or pecans to the cinnamon-sugar topping.

You can also use cutters if you like; the cookies keep their shape well while baking, but opting for the pastry cutter means no waste, and you can turn out a multitude of cookies in a minimal amount of time. I made rectangles, but I think I'm going to go for squares next time—with the fluted edges they will remind me of postage stamps.

This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so be ready for a healthy supply to give away to family and friends.

About the author: Gina DePalma is the pastry chef at Mario Batali's Babbo restaurant in New York City and the author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. After a stint in Rome, she's back in the States sharing recipes and intel on delicious Italian eats.


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