If you’ve never heard of Hawaij (“huh-why-edge”), that’s ok because I certainly hadn’t either until I stumbled across it on Molly Yeh’s blog where she presented us with some hawaij-coffee donuts. What? Needless to say, I was intrigued! I’m all for incorporating new spices into my dishes and this one sounded like a winner, mostly because it’s used with coffee. Because right now coffee is everything. It turns out there are two versions of hawaij, a Yemeni spice blend, that are used in both coffee and soups. Here we use the coffee blend where ground cardamom and ginger are the stars of the show, followed by a mixture of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Sometimes anise and fennel seeds are included but I opted to skip them. Add a pinch or two of the spice to your coffee grounds and boom…you have a better-than-Starbucks holiday brew. Not only can you add Hawaij to your coffee, but now you can also add your Hawaij-spiced coffee to cookies! Double win!
∗∗For the hawaij: simply mix together 1 tbs cardamom, 1 tbs ginger, 1/4 tsp each of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Keep sealed in a spice jar for infinity.∗∗
This recipe includes both brewed coffee and instant espresso powder for a caffeinated coffee kick, while the hawaij is wonderfully warming. For the coating I used Demerara sugar, which has a coarser-grain, and it gave the cookies a hearty crunch; such a welcome contrast to their chewy centers. Of course you can certainly use natural cane sugar if that’s what you have on hand.
Spiced coffee snickerdoodles. Do it!
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (AP flour will work as well)
- 1/2 tsp hawaij
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 3/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) organic unsalted butter
- 1 cup natural cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk (2%, whole or non-dairy would work)
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled
- 1/4 cup Demerara sugar
- 1 tsp hawaij
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, hawaij, espresso powder, sea salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda. In another medium bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, milk, coffee and vanilla bean paste until combined. The mixture may look a bit lumpy but will even out once the dry ingredients are added. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture a little bit at a time, beating at low to medium speed until everything is combined. Using a 1 1/2″ cookie scoop, drop dough onto lined baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.
You can prepare the topping while the dough is freezing by mixing the sugar, Hawaij and instant espresso powder together in a small bowl.
Roll dough into uniform balls, then roll into the sugar mixture, making sure the whole cookie is coated. Place onto lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart, as they will spread while baking. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, until edges are slightly browned. They will puff up in the oven a bit and deflate once removed from the heat. This is where you get the beautiful cracks on top. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
**To make vegan, simply swap the butter for vegan butter, such as Earth Balance and use a non-dairy milk of choice.
**To make gluten-free, simply swap out the flour for your favorite gluten-free flour blend.
(snickerdoodles inspired by Oh, Ladycakes and spice blend from Molly Yeh)