Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Not my Grandparent's Ginger Snaps
In 1958, my parents built a home on three acres of property that my grandparents had bought after WWI. Having moved around with my Dad's naval assignments, this was their dream home, close to family and friends. However, the house was set back from the road with a quarter-mile driveway and that meant we would have to walk down a path every morning (and again in the afternoon) to catch the school bus in front of my grandparent's home. Looking back, it's what kept us in shape, not to mention the lack of television programming and computer games!
Every day, after the bus left us off, we would stop in to visit with our grandparents before heading down the path. It was something I looked forward to; listening to what they had been doing that day and a joke or two my Grandpa Frank would tell. Grandma Gladys would remove the lid of the handmade cookie jar (a beautiful wooden one my grandfather had made her) and we'd reach in to pull out yummy ginger snap cookies as we also shared what our day at been like. Admittedly, these cookies were not homemade, but rather came in a large brown bag from the grocery store. However, that wasn't the point. The sharing of time and stories is, and those ginger snaps were, nonetheless, scrumptious, especially with a glass of cold milk.
I received two emails yesterday that brought back this memory. The first one, from King Arthur Flour with this homemade Ginger Snap recipe that I made this morning and the other from my dear friend, Nicole, who shared this photo of the first snow of the season!
I thought...what makes a house smell warm and inviting, especially on a cold, snowy day--a cookie with the aroma of spices emanating from the kitchen. I loved sitting around my grandparent's kitchen table, sharing, laughing, and eating those ginger snaps and I knew they would be great after a day of playing in the snow as well.
Preheat oven 375F-degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat.
3/4 cup shortening (yes, you can use unsalted butter, but the cookies will be soft!)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tsp. ground ginger (I chose 2 tsp.)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
In the bowl of a KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer) beat the shortening, sugar, salt and baking soda until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and molasses. Beat well.
In a small bowl, add the flour and the spices and use a whisk to stir together. Add to the mixture and on low speed, combine completely.
Use a small scoop to make 1-inch balls and roll in the coating.
Bake in preheated oven 11 minutes. [I bake using convection so I lowered the temperature to 365F-degrees and baked the cookies for 9 minutes.] Let cool on the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
As the holidays approach, take time to bake and spend time with your family--memories are made with the simplest of tasks. Enjoy!