Thursday, September 29, 2011
Ginger. Sweaters. Tea. Cinnamon. Dry leaves. Crisp air. Apples. Pumpkins. Caramel. Red wine. Harvest. Baking. Hearths. Sage. Nesting.
I love this time of year. And I'm ready for it. I just purchased my annual splurge of heavy-duty face moisturizer to get me through the winter (this stuff, if you're curious). I pulled my sweaters and jackets out of a storage closet to get ready for another year of wear. The heavy comforter is already on the bed, although we haven't yet put on the flannel sheets. Even the garden is slowly getting cleaned up, lazy gardener that I am. Yes, I am ready for the cooler temps. Bring it.
With the chill of autumn, I've been a tea drinking fiend lately, brewing up a couple cups nearly every morning, enjoying the simple pleasure of holding the warm mug in my hands. In general, I don't usually nibble anything with my tea, but recently I had a ginger cookie craving - a chewy, warm, spiced ginger and molasses cookie. I found exactly the recipe I wanted in the classic red-and-white plaid Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
As a general rule, I use butter in cookie dough, but I stuck with Crisco here to make the cookies softer and chewier. The spice and sweetness level was perfect - reminded me of the spice cookies my grandma used to make. However, this recipe makes A LOT of ginger cookies. I bundled up some extras in little fall colored cellophane bags with a couple teabags of chai and wrote a quick "Happy Autumn" note on tree wrap paper. Ben got a lot of smiles as he handed our little cookie gifts to friends and neighbors.
Ben helped me make the cookies and served as the official taste tester, too. I thought he got his fill, but as I was snapping a couple photos for this blog post, suddenly a little marker-covered hand came into the frame.
I guess you could think of that as his official taste tester stamp of approval.
Classic Ginger Cookies
A perfect little baking project for a cool, grey fall day. Kids can help roll the dough in sugar - just watch so they don't nibble too much dough! Nothing worse than a cookie dough stomach ache.
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
Additional sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are puffed (do not overbake). Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 120 small cookies.
Posted by Rhubarb and Venison at 9:50 PM