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The Best Soft and Chewy Spice Cookies (easy recipe)

Chewy Spice Cookies have a soft and chewy texture, combined with crispy edges, and loaded with warm spices, and ground walnuts. These flavorful cookies make a wonderful addition to your holiday assortment!

Spice cookie with glaze on parchment paper.

There’s something incredibly comforting about a freshly baked cookie, especially when it’s flavored with a blend of spices. Soft and chewy in the centers with crispy edges, these spice cookies are a delightful treat that’s topped off with a sweet honey glaze. If you’re a fan of cookies that truly capture the essence of the holiday season, you’ve come to the right place!

Chewy spice cookies are particularly popular during the fall and winter months. With their warm and cozy flavors, they make a frequent appearance during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s no wonder, as the combination of spices and walnuts evoke memories of cozy family gatherings by the fireplace. Looking for other holiday delights? Check out these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies or search through all of my favorite Christmas cookies

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • No Special Mixers Needed: This recipe is straightforward and doesn’t require any stand mixer or hand mixer. A simple whisk and a spatula will get the job done!
  • Perfectly Spiced: With a beautiful blend of spices, these cookies are bursting with fall flavors n every bite.
  • Chewy with a Crunch: These cookies boast a soft and chewy center with delightfully crispy edges.
  • Honey Glaze Touch: The honey glaze not only adds a touch of sweetness but also elevates the flavor, making them irresistible.
  • Versatility: From the list of variations available, you can tailor the recipe to fit your tastes, be it with citrus notes or chocolate additions.
  • Great for Gifting: These spice cookies package beautifully, making them perfect for gifting during the holiday season or any other special occasion.
  • Freezable: You can prepare the cookie dough ahead of time, freeze, and bake whenever you crave a fresh batch, ensuring warm cookies on demand!

Ingredient Notes

These cookie recipe uses the typical basic ingredients along with walnuts and spices. (For exact quantities, see the recipe card below.)

  • Ground Walnuts: These provide a rich, nutty base, giving depth and texture to our cookies.
  • Melted Butter: The heart of any chewy cookie, butter lends moisture and a rich, creamy flavor.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: With its molasses undertones, this sugar promises a deeper sweetness, enhancing the chewiness.
  • Granulated Sugar: For that classic sweetness we all adore.
  • Honey: A natural sweetener that complements the spices and brings a smooth richness.
  • Eggs (room temperature): They bind the ingredients and provide structure, ensuring our cookies don’t crumble apart.
  • Vanilla Extract: An aromatic touch to balance the flavors.
  • All-Purpose Flour: The backbone of our cookies, giving them body and structure.
  • Baking Soda: Our leavening agent ensuring the cookies rise to perfection.
  • Cinnamon, Ginger, Allspice, and Cloves: The quartet of fall spices, mingling together to give that warm, aromatic punch distinctive of spice cookie recipes.
  • Salt: Just a pinch enhances the overall flavors.
  • Turbinado Sugar: Used for rolling, it gives our cookies a delightful crunch on the outside.

For the Honey Glaze

  • Powdered Sugar: This ensures our glaze is smooth and drizzle-worthy.
  • Honey: Reinforces the cookie’s honey notes and adds a glossy finish.
  • Milk: Thins the glaze to the right consistency, making it perfect for drizzling.

Step by Step Instructions

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two prepared baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Using a food processor, grind the walnuts and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, sugar, and honey.
  • Introduce the eggs and vanilla extract to the sugar mixture. Mix well.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the ground walnuts to the flour mixture.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients using a rubber spatula.
  • Roll the cookie dough balls in turbinado sugar. Form them into 2 tablespoon-sized portions and place them on the cookie sheet. Ensure there’s space between each cookie.
  • Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes. They should have crackly tops and firm edges. Let them cool on a wire rack.
  • Prepare the honey glaze in a small bowl by mixing all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.

Substitutions

  • Gluten-Free: Instead of all-purpose flour, swap it out for a gluten-free flour blend. They’re specifically formulated to mimic the texture and properties of wheat flour. This is my favorite cup-for-cup gluten free baking flour blend.
  • Dairy-Free: If you’re avoiding dairy, you can replace the butter with vegan butter. Keep in mind that the final cookie might have slight variations in taste and texture.

Variations

  • Nuts: If walnuts aren’t your favorite, pecans make an excellent substitute, giving the cookies a rich and buttery taste.
  • Spices: For a different flavor profile, replace the spice mix with chai spice blend or pumpkin spice. Both offer a warming, aromatic flavor perfect for fall and winter.
  • Chocolate: Feel like adding some chocolate? Skip the honey glaze and drizzle melted chocolate or white chocolate over the baked cookies.
  • Citrus: For a refreshing twist, add the zest of one orange to the dough. The subtle citrus note complements the spices beautifully.

Equipment

  • Food Processor: While a food processor makes grinding walnuts a breeze, if you don’t have one, a high-powered blender can do the trick. Just ensure you don’t over-process to avoid turning the nuts into butter.
  • Baking Sheets: Investing in quality baking sheets ensures even baking. Dark-colored sheets may cause cookies to brown faster, so it’s advisable to keep an eye on them. Need a new set? Check out this recommended brand.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature: Once cooled, store the baked cookies in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for up to a week.
  • Refrigerating Dough: If you’ve prepared the dough but aren’t ready to bake, you can refrigerate it in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

How to Freeze

  • Unbaked Cookies: To freeze cookie dough balls, place them on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer them to a zip-top bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Label with the date and type of cookie. When ready to bake, you can bake from frozen, but add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
  • Baked Cookies: Once the cookies have completely cooled, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet to freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip-top bag. They can be stored for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, simply let them thaw at room temperature.

expert Tips

  • Using room temperature eggs ensures even mixing.
  • For a different twist, add orange zest to the dough.
  • Using a cookie scoop or scale will ensure consistent cookie sizes.
  • Don’t overcrowd the cookie sheet. This ensures even baking.
  • If you prefer a more intense flavor, add a blend of cinnamon and ground cloves to the dough.
spice cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use pumpkin pie spice instead of individual spices?

Absolutely! Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of several spices, including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, which are typically present in spice cookies. If you’re using pumpkin pie spice, start with 1to 1.5 teaspoons to replace the combined quantity of individual spices. Adjust according to your preference.

What if I don’t have turbinado sugar?

If you don’t have turbinado sugar, you can substitute with either white sugar or raw sugar. While turbinado sugar offers a unique crystalline texture and a slight molasses flavor, brown sugar can provide a similar depth of taste due to its molasses content. White sugar will give the cookies a lighter taste and texture but can still provide the desired sweetness.

How do I ensure a chewy texture?

To achieve that perfect chewy texture, a few factors are essential. First, avoid overbaking. Cookies continue to set as they cool, so removing them from the oven when they’re still slightly soft in the center is key. Second, the brown sugar in the recipe helps maintain moisture, ensuring chewiness. Lastly, allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator before baking can help achieve a denser, chewier texture.

Why are my cookies flat?

Cookies can flatten for a few reasons. One common cause is butter that’s too warm or melted, leading to the cookies spreading more during baking. Another reason could be the use of expired or old baking soda, which can affect the cookies’ ability to rise. Overmixing the dough can also lead to flatter cookies by allowing more air into the batter. To avoid this, ensure your ingredients, especially butter, are at the right temperature, check the freshness of your baking soda, and mix the dough just until combined.

Chewy spice cookies cut in half.

If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on PinterestFacebookInstagram, and Youtube. ♡

Spice cookie with glaze on parchment paper.

Spice Cookies

Angelina Papanikolaou
Loaded with warm spices, and packed with ground walnuts, these Chewy Spice Cookies make a wonderful addition to your holiday assortment.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 325 kcal

Ingredients 

Chewy Walnut Spice Cookies

  • 1 cup ground walnuts about 3 cups walnut halves and pieces
  • 1 cup butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar for rolling

Honey Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place walnuts into the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until ground. Set aside.
    1 cup ground walnuts
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and honey.
    1 cup butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp honey
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
    2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt into a separate large bowl. Add ground walnuts and whisk to combine.
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup ground walnuts
  • Add flour/walnut mixture to butter mixture and mix with a rubber spatular until well combined.
  • Place 1 cup turbinado sugar into a bowl and roll each ball into the sugar to coat. Form the cookies into 2 tablespoon-sized balls (about 2 ounces each). Place 6 cookies at a time onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until tops are crackly and edges are firm. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
    1 cup turbinado sugar
  • Make the glaze by whisking powdered sugar with honey and milk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies and enjoy!
    1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp milk

Notes

How to store walnut spice cookies:
  • Store your walnut spice cookies covered in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
How to freeze walnut spice cookies:
  • You can freeze unglazed baked cookies or unbaked cookie dough balls for up two 3 months. If freezing unbaked cookie dough, bake frozen cookie dough and add 1-2 minutes to your baking time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 4gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 219mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 262IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made these cookies, while they didn’t turn out chewy but rather cakey, they taste absolutely amazing!!! It’s the second of your recipes I tried and both of them turned you delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these cookies and instead of ground almonds I just roughly chopped and they were so delicious. Still soft and chewy with some texture! Definitely a keeper!
    I didn’t use the glaze though or roll in sugar before baking since I prefer a less sweet cookie and they turned out excellent!

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