Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Crisp, chewy gingernaps

 I think there is a time and place for baking large-scale and it begins right about midOctober for most of us, leading to New Year's, and for the ambitious few, an additional week or two. Why, even peeking into history, you'll see that Easy Bake ovens debuted during the last quarter of 1963 so three year olds thenceforth could channel their inner Julia Child right in time for Christmas. It's truth, seasoncentric chefs will always and ever be a very good thing.

But I also imagine we freefall into this three month trajectory where once the weather hits 50° you unknowingly crave things baked, crisped, slathered and smothered with fats,flour, sugar, scents, things that just about make everyone merry and bright, circling on to greater baking, cooking, eating. A gluttonous cycle that needn't, shouldn't ever end too quick and has us wondering why it really can't pull into the twelve month round. Perhaps, there might be a stretch limit to one-size-fits-all pants(?).

Getting to point, these have been a part of my cookieswap/holiday gift reportoire for more than I can remember. Why I've never tried to share it here is a question I'll never live down, have no explanation for and creates atmosphere for loud suggestions from The Two, my almost-on-to-a driving permit adolescent (munching on more than a few of these have helped ease her mother's nightmare-driven mind) and her few-month-short-of-teenstatus sibling, the friends they share lunchbox with, teachers/soccer clubs/random acquaintances of past and present who've all professed an unwavering love for this utterly blogworthy meilleur biscui.
There are some things to consider when baking the grandest of gingersnaps. First, that it is Perfection. Second, the requirement of smallish ginger chunks in a season scented batter create an extravagance not known to common cookie standard. Third, it warrants an aweinduced reverence, from the brown edged finish to a decadent cushion interior, giving way to that incredibly softfirm/crispchew phenomenon. Fourth, the appeal of a well rounded batch of flavor can expand past the "holiday baking" horizons to, well, anytime of the year.

I'll zip this up and have you on your way to prepare preTurkey day tasks. Just know it's that good and I couldn't leave you bereft of what will be the ultimate kickoff to happy holidays forevermore.

Happy Thanksgiving.

A page for my firstborn and her dear friend, who recently professed so much love for the cookie that we needed to rush-update just for her. Ms. M, this to you, but be warned we intend to overload you with a lot more goodies, all year through.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1½ sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 3 tbsp  chopped crystallized ginger
  • ½ cup sugar for decoration


Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. 
  • Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until light fluffy and pale in color.
  • Add the egg and continue beating until smooth.
  • Bring mixer speed down to low, add half the dry ingredient mixture and the molasses. Stop and scrape sides of bowl with spatula if needed and continue to beat on low.
  • Add in the remaining dry ingredients and beat for an additional  minute on medium-low speed. 
  • Add crystallized ginger and mix with spatula to incorporate and all ingredients are combined.
  • With a tablespoon sized spoon, scoop out dough and roll between palms, then roll into half cup sugar.
  • Drop dough onto parchment/silpat lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes on center rack.
  • Remove from oven and allow cookies to stay on pan for about a minute before transferring to wire racks for complete cooling. 
  • Can be stored in an airtight container for upto a week.
Notes~
Baking specifics- 
Cutting short the bake time by a minute, at 11 minutes, leaves you with a customary chewy, soft cookie, no crisp.
12 minutes render a more chewy- crisp form, what I like best, goes well with a glass of milk, or nothing at all. 
At 15 minutes, cookie texture is more crisp/ brown, and more true to the "snap" in Ginger's name.

Dough freezes well, double bagged for upto a month.

November  2014~ Chili roasted cauliflower
November 2013~ Peanut butter oreo blondies
Dulce de leche cookies
November 2012~ Cookies!
Pumpkin spice cake( and what this year's dessert will be. It is That Good!)
Stuffed whole chicken 
Sweet potato fries
Beef fry 
Fall cupcakes ( we were diligent in 2012, right?)
           
******
" But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" 2 Corinthians 12:9




4 comments:

  1. Such beautiful gingernaps! I used to never eat them since I used hate ginger flavor but now after blogging, my tastes are changing! Got to try this for myself... ;)

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  2. Gingernaps look awesome.... I bet ur home would have smelled heavenly while it baked...Love this season of celebrations that brings in all enthusiasm to bake and have fun with family...Have a happy Thankgiving..

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  3. Tisa, this would be a super contribution to Food on Friday: Victorian or Afternoon Tea Party over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans everywhere!

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  4. They look soft in the middle and crunchy at the edges...perfect cookies!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!