Thursday, December 6, 2012
Ginger makes you brilliant...
Since I haven't finished anything photogenic or new and interesting this week, I was having trouble thinking up a blog post for tonight. I finally decided to curl up on the sofa with my trusty pen and clipboard, and maybe a nice cup of tea and a cookie, and see if I could doodle up an idea. Once in the kitchen, I realized warm milk might be wiser this far past bedtime, and as I pulled the jug from the fridge, it struck me that the ginger cookie recipe would be a fine blog post. This was confirmed when I took a mug from the cupboard, and the inscription on the side said "brilliant painter".
Last year, a package arrived just after Christmas, as packages from my parents usually do. It contained a half dozen cookie recipes, plus the spices and specialty ingredients for each. Being thoroughly sick of sweets by that time in the holiday season, I kept it for use throughout the year. This week, I decided to try the ginger spice cookies. They sounded good, but I made a couple of changes to the recipe. Here's my quick and snappy version:
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
2 tsp baking soda
3tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
then stir in
3/4 to 1 cup chopped crystallized ginger
2 cups flour
This will be a very soft dough. Wetting hands if necessary, roll into 1" balls, and roll these in white sugar to coat. Place balls 2" apart on lightly buttered cookie sheets. Lower carefully into the oven, so as to avoid rolling the little boogers onto the floor, stepping on them, and having to spend ten minutes cleaning cookie dough out of the treads of your hiking boots. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until nice and richly brown, but be careful not to burn. This makes about three dozen buttery crisp cookies, depending on how many dough balls actually make it into the oven.
Mom's spices came from a co-op that gets them extremely fresh, so the flavor is a bit more intense than grocery store spices. Don't hesitate to round up the measurements on the ground ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
So there you go. Try them, and see if the mere scent of them doesn't give you brilliant ideas, or at least a cheerful optimism conducive to problem solving from your favorite end of the sofa.