Monday, December 24, 2012

Baking for the holidays

From left to (top) right: Christmas lights at Opryland, lavender shortbread ninjas, and gingersnaps.
Every fall I waffle on whether to go all out with holiday baking or not. I ultimately end up making at least a few sweets, and say willfully, "my diet starts tomorrow" (Watch this). Regardless of how I feel, I always make gingersnaps.
They are one of my favorite cookies, and happen to also be super easy to make. Two bowls for mixing, and that's it! As always, the fresher the spices, the zestier the result will be. I love love love making these cookies as gifts for friends because then I get to eat a bunch they are so festive, and look so pretty sprinkled with raw sugar.
Funny story. A dear old friend of mine and roommate, A, was from Spain. She had trouble with many English words, but the one that drove her nuts was the word sugar. For some reason she couldn't say it! She'd scrunch up her face, and exasperatedly bale out eeeeeeeesha... garr. Ehshagar! (sometimes Spainiards add an eh before words that start with a consonant, it's more similar to Spanish). We worked together on getting it to shoo-gar, which is pretty good if you ask her.
The ginger snaps in the picture in this post are made a little differently. I used a whole wheat sprouted grain flour (more on that later!), and added a tablespoon of black cocoa. I was in a tinkering mood. They look a little darker than usual because of the cocoa, but they were quite tasty. I'd recommend starting with the recipe as is, and then vary it once you decide what you like.

adapted slightly from 17 and Baking
2 cups all purpose flour (or white wheat flour)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup canola oil (or other neutral oil)
1 large egg 
Turbinado cane sugar For rolling

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. In another large mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, molasses, canola oil, and egg. Using a whisk or electric mixer mix to combine thoroughly. One tip is to measure the oil first, and then in the same cup measure the molasses. The molasses will pour out much easier!

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, (put mixer on low for this) and mix just until combined. Don't overmix! Shape into a ball, then wrap with plastic wrap and put into fridge for at least twenty minutes.

Put parchement paper on a baking sheet, and using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, measure out walnut sized circles of dough. Roll each cookie in turbinado sugar (it will look beautiful!) and place on a cookie sheeet, with an inch or two between each cookie.

Bake at 375F for 9-12 minutes. If you like your cookies softer you can pull them out at 9 minutes, if you like a crispy gingersnap then you can leave it in for a few more minutes. Every oven is different, so keep an eye on them! I have definitely burned a few batches because in "a few more minutes" can easily turn into "a few youtube videos" which is not good!

These cookies are warm and spicy, and perfect for the holidays. They're full of good spices which are healthy in their own right... so... that means that these are healthy... let's just go with that!


No comments:

Post a Comment