Happy National Cookie Day! Yup, it’s a real day. I’m all about any excuse to eat some sweets and this “holiday” is no exception.
I’m actually very picky when it comes to cookies. I don’t like overly sweet cookies or bland cookies. I like when a cookie has an unexpected flavor. And these pine nut cookies totally fit that bill. They are not too sweet which I love, they are nutty, and my favorite part is they have a little kick of spice. Toasted pine nuts and cream cheese lend these crumbly-chewy cookies rich flavor. Ground chile pepper adds a smoky note to each bite.
Make these pine nut cookies for gift giving, and your friends and family will be very happy when they receive these homemade special treats for the holidays.
Pine Nut Cookies with Ground Chile
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chile pepper (Hatch, habanero, or chipotle)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla paste or extract
- Ground chile pepper
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a food processor combine flour and pine nuts. Cover and process until pine nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, ground chile pepper, and salt; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla paste until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
- Sprinkle with ground chile pepper.