Cumin Cookies (Jeera)

For the last 4 years, I have run the annual holiday cookie smackdown at work. Last year one of the entries in the savory group captured my imagination. It was an extremely light, delicious crispy, salty cumin cookie. It was a lovely change from all the sweet cookies in the competition. These cookies were inspired by Aliya and Geetika, and for my American taste buds, go beautifully with tomato soup or crispy salad.

Cumin Cookies
Makes 40 to 48 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fine grain kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely crushed black pepper
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Sift together flour and baking powder. Add 1 teaspoon of the cumin seeds. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, set to high, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, black pepper, and egg. Beat well to combine.

Set the mixer to low. Add the flour gradually and gently mix into a smooth dough. Wrap in wax paper of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or as long as overnight.

When ready to use, pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Between two sheets of wax paper, roll the dough into a circle. The thickness should be about quarter inch. Cut into 1” rounds. Place on prepared cookie sheet, about 1” apart. Bake until golden, for about 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.