I recently discovered that I made a rookie chef error. During the recipe testing phase of my entry for TDAC Illustrated Holiday Recipe Contest, I made many variations of this recipe, all with the spices I had on hand. All of my spices were at least a year old (most more), and not as potent as fresh spices. When I remade the cookies with new spices after running out of what I had in stock, I found the recipe WAY too spicy.

I should have realized that during the testing phase. I started with half the spices in my current recipe, but felt that I could barely notice them, even though there cumulatively seemed to be a large amount of spices.

There isn't much I can do about the contest entry as it stands, but I can go back and adjust the recipe for my own edification. And for all my faithful blog readers, I will post the revised recipe once I make all the final adjustments.

If anyone HAS tested the recipe, I would appreciate your feedback on the cookie as it stands and any recommendations you may have on tweaking the spice levels.