Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good, Good Cookie!

Cookies are my favorite food. Better than pies, better than cake, I like cookies better than anything! I like baking them and munching on them. They are cheerful and homey and come in so many varieties. They're just the perfect size dessert and they are always perfect with my afternoon mug of sweet, milky tea.

a giant cookie mold found in Brussels, Belgium
I love the picture below of a baker's cart we saw this summeron vacation. Obviously handcrafted, it stood on a sidewalk, surrounded by patrons, because it held the most beautiful baked goods! We tried some and they were yummy and fresh.

A baker's cart we saw in Ghent, Brussels this summer.
If I had a baker's cart, I'd fill it with the ginger cookies in the recipe below. It's a family favorite. You've got to try it!

Giant Ginger Cookies
2 ¼ cups flour
2 tablespoons ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons coarse sugar for rolling the cookies. (I mix granulated sugar with coarse sparkly sugar).
Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
Beat shortening and sugar then add eggs and molasses.
Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended, no more.
Make 2 inch balls; roll these in coarse sugar and place 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a glass. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until crinkly and slightly brown.
Beurre... butter mold from Brussels
Do not substitute butter for these. I know you think they’ll be better, but they won’t. The butter makes them too soft and they don’t “crinkle.” Also note baking soda not baking powder.
My friend Jo-Ann said her mother put fresh grated ginger (about 1 tablespoon)into her Giant Ginger Cookies. You can try that if this way isn’t ginger-y enough for you.

These cookies are simply the best. Not only is the texture homey, but the way they make your house smell is a surpassing joy. They are so good and they go so fast that you’ll want to make a double batch, but I suggest mixing one first, then mixing the second. When I try to double the recipe, it doesn’t mix as well.
Above the gorgeous loaves of bread is an oval pan of brownies! Don't they look rich and wonderful?
Whole Wheat Ginger Cookies
4 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 ½ cup shortening (Crisco)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
¾ cup coarse sugar for rolling
Beat shortening, sugar; add eggs one at a time. Add molasses.
Mix all dry ingredients. Add to the egg/sugar mixture and mix well.
Roll into one inch balls and roll each ball in coarse sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
This look suspiciously like a doubled recipe of the non-whole wheat recipe. My daughter in law made this recently and I loved them. They are smaller and don’t taste as sweet- they’d be good for breakfast.

The cookies made from the recipe below were a big hit at Valerie and Andrew’s wedding last year. Those who have tried these know what I'm talking about.
St. Aubert... the patron saint of bakers...! Did you know we bakers have our very own saint? !
Cindy Bauchspies' Ginger Molasses Cookies
¾ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sugar for rolling the cookies
Cream shortening, gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Beat well.
Combine flour, soda, salt ginger and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Add to egg mixture, mixing well.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7 minutes.

3 comments:

  1. Yummmy! I will have to try these.

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  2. I love my ginger cookie recipe....sounds very much like the first one you wrote about....I'm going to try adding some fresh ginger next time I make them. That sounds great.

    I love everything about cookies also.

    Marilou

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  3. I agree...cookies are def my favorite dessert. Will have to give these recipes a try. That first one sounded delightful!

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