Friday, December 20, 2013

Ginger Snap!

I'm afraid the blog fell into the gap between our late Thanksgiving and my obdurate refusal to do anything for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I stand by my choices, even if I'm only now slowly getting back to my writing and critiquing and blogging. I suppose this happens every year. 

Another thing that happens every year at our house is gingersnaps. Lately, it's rare to even see gingersnaps in the grocery stores. I think this is because they are so uniformly unappealing, dry as cardboard and nearly as flavorless. Ironically, my cookie press gingersnaps look like cardboard but taste delicious, spicy and sweet!

It's a strong cookie for a season that is both blissful and a little stressful. So, have a little yin for your yang, a little Krampus with your Santa. Enjoy!


From The Fanny Farmer Baking Book

¾ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar, plus extra to roll the cookies in
1 egg
¼ cup black strap molasses
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tblsp powdered ginger*
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cover a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Beat together the shortening and 1 cup of the sugar. Add the egg, and beat until fluffy, then add the molasses. Stir and toss together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon, and add to the first mixture, beating until smooth.

Gather up bits of the dough and roll them into 1 inch balls,** and roll them in the sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies have spread and the tops have cracked. Remove from the sheets and cool on a rack.

* I suppose you could grate the ginger, but the powdered is stronger, and I like a cookie that bites back. Buy the best ginger you can find.

** for cookie press style (pictured above), load up the press. If individual portions don't easily drop off, just squeeze out a long ribbon of dough and cut it into squares with a knife or a pizza slicer. Sprinkle sugar on top and bake for about 7.5 minutes.

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