Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I repent, little Gingersnaps

For many, Christmas is the season for baking. For moi, it lasts all year long! I need no excuse to try a new cookie recipe. However, come the holidays, I am ecstatic to peruse the new baking mags. Numerous times. Wanting every single one. I have only purchased one this year (shock, awe) and it's the Better Homes & Gardens Best Loved Cookies. Lots of fun recipes in there! The one I'm all excited about discovering is the, you guessed it, gingersnap recipe. I hadn't found a really great, "drop what you're doing, they're outta the oven!" one yet. But now, I believe I have.

When I was first making them and attempting to put them on the sheets, I decided right then and there I would never make them again. They were gooey and annoying, even after they 'chilled for 2 hours' just as the recipe 'suggested'. Then they came out of the oven all beautiful...and I tasted one. Oh. My. Yum. Yum. Yum. I was so wrong. They would have been worth twice the effort! Hence, my repentance to the humble little recipe.

My one command suggestion would be to chill the dough in the freezer, not the fridge. Molasses has a very low freezing point, and just doesn't get un-gooey enough in a fridge, in my opinion. It doesn't seem to matter how much is in a recipe, it always means you have a high goo-factor to contend with. (I know, there's lots of highfalutin jargon.) Ok, so I actually have 2 suggestions. I wouldn't even consider making these without my favorite gadget, the cookie scoop. I'm sure other companies make these, but I have 3 sizes from the Pampered Chef. I have used these for 8 years and if I haven't worn them out, they're definately quality! If you currently use a plain old spoon for your drop cookies, trust me, you would never go back. Seriously. And now, without further ado, here is the lovely recipe herself:

1/2 C butter, margarine or oil
1/4 C shortening
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 C mild-flavored molasses
2 C flour
(1/4 C colored sugar or coarse sugar for decorating)

*Beat butter and shortening for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add egg and beat for a 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients minus the flour and mix well. Add flour slowly. Chill (ahem, freeze) until not sticky and easy to work with. (1-2 hours) Using cookie scoop or hands, shape 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 3 inches apart to allow spreading. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. (Using the scoop, I didn't even shape them, but they came out just fine.)

I hope you enjoy this holiday treat as much as I did. Twice. I find it really helps the flavor if a nice Christmas cd is playing while I bake. You know, something really classic, like the Muppets and John Denver. :)


Lauren said...

You are my second bloggy friend to share a gingersnap recipe lately - I suppose that means that now I *have* to try some! Perhaps I'll enjoy homemade ones, but I've never been a fan of gingerbread.

And, I really want some cookie scoops. I just use 2 small spoons from the silverware drawer, or roll cookie dough into a log and freeze it, and then slice it. This way is really nice for freezing cookie dough, because then I can just stack the frozen cookie dough with a small sheet of waxed paper in between, and bake 5 or 6 at a time for a special treat without all the cookie dough work and mess! :) But...I still want some scoops. ;)

LeeBeeP said...

Ooh, girl, you need the scoops! That's a great idea about freezing it and making a handful at a time.