Nooo, they aren't Ginger Snaps. I just couldn't resist saying that. I knoooow...I'm a total geek. (Do they even say geek anymore?)
Have you ever felt like making something but you didn't know what? You knew that it had be something you had all the ingredients for. Something that didn't require tons of time (cuz it's late)...and preferably something sweet.
Well, that narrows it down.
Thats when I tackled the cookbooks. I did find lots of stuff I would like to make someday.
But what about noooooooooooow?
I was beginning to think I'd either have to succumb to sheer boredom (heaven forbid I start cleaning or doing laundry, right?) or I'd have to make that dreaded trip to the grocery store.
When low and behold, what have I found?!
Ginger Cookies and I have all the ingredients. (well, except for margarine, but that doesn't count.)
The recipe was found in a book that belongs to one of my daughters friends mother? The girls went through a cooking phase last year and somehow this huge, heavy (who wants to carry this home???) cookbook has been visiting ever since.
Cookies, Pies, Breads & Tarts
(although when I look inside the book, it refers to itself as The Practical Encyclopedia of Baking)
Funny thing here....above the title it reads: "Over 400 step-by-step recipes for tempting home baking" (is it just me or is that an awkward sentence?)
My warped brain replaces the word "tempting" with "attempting" cuz to me...that makes way more sense!
Before I get started...I just want to clarify that these are not ginger snaps. They're not hard or crispy. They're just a good cookie when a nice spicy, ginger flavor. So if that's whatcha want...then lets get 'er done.
Yields 36 cookies (unless you start poppin bits of cookie dough in your mouth...then you're guess is as good as mine)
1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (I think I used dark brown cuz thats what I had)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup margarine shortening
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
With your electric mixer, cream together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and continue beating until blended...theeeeen add the molasses.
Sift together the dry ingredients....3 times! Then stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. I'd do a portion at a time...it just seems to be easier that way.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
At this point I decided to be a good girl and started putting stuff away. And I came across the salt shaker.
CRAP!!! Did I or didn't I????
Damn...I'm 95% sure I forgot the salt.
So I took the dough out of the fridge and stirred in the salt...
and stirred some more...and then some more to make sure it was evenly distributing since it missed the benefit of all that sifting.
Ok...back in the fridge.
Mean while, preheat your oven to 325' F and cover a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper.
Once the 30 minutes is up, place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow dish. Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball, then roll it around in the sugar to coat.
Place the balls about 2" apart (they spread so do as your told) onto the parchment paper and then flatten slightly. I used a tumbler to flatten them.
Now just so you know...I flattened them quite a bit the first time. The second time I barely flattened (as shown above)....and it made NO difference whatsoever to the flatness or thickness of the end result.
Bake until golden around the edges (huh? the color never changes so I'm not sure how that works) but the middle is soft, which takes about 12 - 15 minutes. Let them set on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes then remove them to a cooling rack.
If you want to make Gingerbread men, the book says to add an additional 1/4 cup of flour. I haven't tried that so I can't tell ya how it works. I'm just the messenger.