But I love this time year. It's like a last hurrah to get together with friends, and there is something crisp and special in the air. Who doesn't love cookie exchanges, Bad Santa type exchanges, and a good snowball fight? I won't have any snow this year (for once), but I think it's going to be a really welcome change. All you need is the right state of mind :)
I decided to kick things off with one of my favorite cookies... the super awesome Gingersnap. Now, before we get rolling, there's a minor controversy here. That is...
To snap or not to snap?
Some people like chewy gingerBREAD type cookies, and others like the hard, whoops I just got crumbs on my shirt SNAPS. Which are you? Is it possible to dig both?
While one of my personal favorite cookies are called Hermit Cookies, which are chewy, I think ginger cookies should be snaps. Yup. Crusty and messy.
So after looking at a couple of recipes for cookies that tended to be too soft for my liking, I found one that looked promising. Simple, a good amount of molasses, and crumbs in the picture. We have a winner here, folks :)
Taken from The Kitchn... I like this site
Makes about 75 cookies (but I got like 50 cause I make them larger- AB)
-1 cup sugar
-3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1/3 cup molasses
-2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon cloves
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
By hand or in a mixer, combine the sugar and butter. Add the egg and mix until the egg is completely combined. Stir in the molasses.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and all the spices. Whisk these dry ingredients to make sure everything is evenly distributed, then pour it on top of the wet ingredients. Use a folding motion to gently combine the wet and dry ingredients. Continue until no more flour is visible.
Turn on the oven to 375° and refrigerate the gingersnap dough while the oven is preheating.
When the oven is hot, measure out rounded teaspoons of dough. Roll the dough between your hands to shape tablespoon balls. Position the balls about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies have puffed and collapsed back on themselves.
Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Store cookies in an airtight container.
Now, I couple of notes about these cookies. First, don't overbake... but come CLOSE. The instructions talk about the cookies puffing up, and THEN sinking is soooo right. You want that. The house will smell of awesome cloves and ginger, and they will look almost black, and that's what you want. Take them out, let them cool for a minute or two, and then on the rack.
If you want kinda chewy cookies, you can eat them that day. However, if you want Snapable cookies, you need to store them and eat them over the next couple days. Don't worry, they keep super well. I was eating them for almost a week afterwards... what can I say, 50 cookies is alot :)
I hope all of your ovens are still in good working order, with the huge influx of awesome sweets being made this holiday. I'm going to be busy these next few weeks, so I want to wish you the most awesome of holiday seasons. Enjoy yourselves, and let loose this month. Come next year, you can get back on the health and diet horse :)