Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Scottish Fans

Scottish Fan Cookies are a slightly puffy, crisp spiced brown sugar biscuit decorated to resemble a fan. A sprinkle of raw sugar adds a bit of crunch!

Scottish Fans

These cookies have been on my "bucket list" for the longest time - I think I had read the page in my mom's cookbook about 20 times since finding it in 2010(ish). For some reason, it never made it to the final cut, until this year. With a slightly "laxer" schedule due to less commuting and online school, I had the opportunity to make bits and pieces of my Christmas cookie list over a few weeks - a huge benefit because I could allow for proper butter softening, dough chilling and even decorating!

That said, these cookies are relatively low on the "complexity scale" when it comes to cookies - it's a fairly basic brown sugar and spice cookie with a touch of barley flour and a couple shots of whisky for good measure. However, the dough needs to chill twice - once to firm up the butter and allow the whole grain barley flour to hydrate properly, the second to make sure the cookies hold their shape (and markings) in the oven. Luckily, neither chill is a "hard and fast" rule - I actually made the dough and chilled it one day, rolled and cut it a few days later and froze all the finished, unbaked "fans" until right before I needed to make up the gift boxes. The cookies are not overly fragile, but their rounded edge makes boxing them somewhat complicated. I eventually went for a 6" round cookie tin and placed the baked goods inside in their original configuration. Just be sure to separate layers with parchment or wax paper if stacking in a warm, humid environment (like my well used kitchen), otherwise you'll have one big stack of cookies.

Not a bad thing, mind you, but sharing is more appropriate for the season!

Scottish Fans
Makes 20
2 cups flour
1 cup barley flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup butter
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup apple whisky, bourbon or water
raw sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg whites, vanilla, and whisky, beating well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix to form a stiff dough.
  5. Wrap tightly and chill for 2 hours.
  6. Roll out to ⅛” thick and cut into 5” circles.
  7. Quarter each circle and mark with the tines of a fork to resemble a fan. Dust with sugar if desired.
  8. Transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets. Place in the freezer at least 30 minutes, while oven heats.
  9. Heat the oven to 325F
  10. Bake cookies for 18 minutes, until just beginning to crisp on the edges.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 157.0
Total Fat: 4.7 g
Cholesterol: 12.4 mg
Sodium: 43.4 mg
Total Carbs: 28.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 2.3 g