I haven't made many cookies lately....must have been the heat. Now that it has cooled down, my baking gene is starting to act up. I've decided that gingersnaps are going to be my first cookie of the season.
Gingersnaps are an old-fashioned kind of cookie. In fact, I have friends who refuse to eat them because they remind them of "old people" food. That's goofy thinking, if you ask me. Frankly, the people who won't try them probably got them out of a box, all hard and with an aftertaste. Trust me, there is a reason fresh gingersnap cookies have proven the test of time.
This is a recipe that I've tweaked with spices and such. I didn't want the spice to overpower the cookie, so I cut out the clove and added one of my favorite Scandinavian spices, Cardamom. It turns out that Cardamom is used in Asian cooking, as well, so I wonder if it's coincidence that I also added just a tinge of powdered Star Anise, which is a component of Chinese 5 Spice? Of course there is cinnamon in there, and you have to have ginger for a gingersnap. If you are confused as to where to get these spices, I suggest a trip to Penzeys is in order. They actually have a spice blend called Baking Spice, which incorporates all but the ginger.
Did someone say "Where's the recipe" ? Here you go:
1 cup solid vegetable shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon powdered star anise
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/4 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the shortening and one cup of the sugar. Add the egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients.
Form the mixture into one-inch balls. Roll the balls in the remaining sugar and place them at least one inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes.
Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet until firm, then remove them carefully with a spatula.
No need to get perfect little round balls...they still bake up all nice and round.
Do I have to remind you not to eat the dough? There's raw egg in there...
Don't you love the crackly tops?
It was hard not to eat more than 6 warm cookies...
Just one more suggestion: try these with Pumpkin Dip for a great appetizer or dessert. Now, it on to the apple orchard for me.....