I have never been one with an avid sweet tooth, but one of my few dulcet indulgences are cookies. And because I tend to lean towards savoury, I love incorporating anything of that sort in a dessert.
Which brings me to these indulgent cookies. To the classic sugar and cinnamon flavour profile of a snickerdoodle, I have added a touch of fenugreek seed, a spice most typically associated with Indian curries. Its scent is reminiscent of sweet lemons and soft caramel, and whenever I open the container containing the seeds I am greeted with that sweet, inviting aroma that begs to be incorporated into a dessert – so I had to oblige!
I experimented with first toasting the fenugreek seeds lightly before grinding but found that they lost their delicate buttery notes and became slightly too bitter for a dessert. Keep in mind to grind the seeds before use as they can be quite hard.
Salted Caramel and Fenugreek Snickerdoodles
Makes approximately 24 cookies
2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of whole fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, cubed
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup of white, granulated sugar – plus 2 tablespoons in a bowl
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
8 caramel squares, cut into quarters and refrigerated
1 tablespoon of Maldon salt – or other fine quality finishing salt
Set a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-high heat and add the butter to melt. Once melted, whisk gently and continue to heat until the butter has browned in colour and releases a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and pour into a tall cylindrical receptacle. This helps settle any imperfections to the bottom – to avoid adding them to the cookie dough. Cool to room temperature.
In a mortar and pestle grind the fenugreek seeds into a coarse powder and stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, spices and salt and whisk gently to combine. In a separate bowl combine the egg, egg yolk, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the browned butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth, then add in the egg, yogurt and vanilla mixture and stir to combine. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
Roll the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
When ready to bake set your oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking sheets.
Using a small ice cream scoop or large spoon scoop out about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and form into a rough ball. Insert ¼ of a caramel square into the centre of the ball, then shape the dough around it to form an even sphere, with no caramel exposed.
Roll in the reserved white sugar and place 12 per baking sheet, with 1-inch space in between, sprinkling the cookies with the Maldon salt before baking.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Remove the trays from the oven and let the cookies cool for 5 – 10 minutes on the trays before transferring them to a cooling rack.