2011. What. A. Year.
There have been too many changes this year to go on about in detail, wonderful changes – incredible people I have gotten to know, great changes in my job, starting this blog, and there have also been changes that I don’t understand or want to accept. I’m sure the changes will keep coming, and more questions will stack up, so I’m arming myself with butter & sugar to face 2012 head-on.
I’m starting small, but with determination in January, with Cookies & Cans…here’s the lowdown:
Every Sunday I’ll post a new cookie recipe, and every Wednesday I’ll be posting about a new canned beer I’ve tried. Did I mention I’ll be sending a batch of said cookies to a different far-away friend each week?
Part of making it through January is surviving the holiday crash – December is the start of our cold winter season, but at least we have the promise of holidays, Christmas lights, and hot cocoa to carry us through. January is when we start to realize that (in the Midwest at least) we have about four more months of cold weather to survive. Boy was that a tough fact to face just now. I say, why do the winter celebrations have to stop at December 25? We don’t need green & red, Saint Nick, or presents to be excited about winter…just a fresh fascination with new snowfall, brisk walks, and chilled breath – and cookies. We always need cookies.
This is the second ginger related recipe I’ve posted, but I must urge you not to skip past this. They do look innocent, unassuming, and peaceful, don’t they? Don’t you let it fool you, though. I did not have extremely high expectations, but after I had consumed my fifth one in a row I realized what an incredible recipe I had found here. These chewy ginger cookies are sweet & savory, with a satisfying crunch from the granulated sugar crust exterior, whereas the gingerbread cookies of a few weeks ago were more crunchy, spicy, and sassy.
I am really curious how bakers are able to get their chewy cookies round & puffy – I made sure to include baking soda per the original recipe, but mine still ended up really flat. I’ve seen some recipes melt the butter first, before creaming it with sugars – perhaps I’ll try that on my next batch, along with using cake flour instead of all-purpose. Do you have any suggestions or experience with this?
Recipe adapted from Chow.com and found on Running with Tweezers
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
Italicized ingredients are those that are different from the original recipe.
(1) Sift flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves together. Set aside.
(2) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together (this can be done without a mixer if necessary). Add molasses, egg, and orange extract – mix until well incorporated and smooth.
(3) Slowly add the most of the flour mixture (on low if you’re using an electric mixer). Using a spatula, fold in the last bit of the flour softly just until incorporated. Put plastic wrap over dough, and chill in refrigerator for one hour.
(4) Pour sugar in a separate bowl, lightly grease cookie sheet, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
(5) Roll balls of the cookie dough about 1 inch in diameter between your hands, and roll in sugar bowl so that the whole cookie is covered in a thin layer of sugar crystals. Place on greased cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart as these cookies can spread out quite a bit – my first couple sheets kept running into each other.
(6) Bake for 9-10 minutes, until small cracks start to appear on the tops of the cookies and the edges are just barely browned. Cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack or other cookie sheet to cool. Cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature 3-4 days. Enjoy with a lovely cold glass of milk or strong coffee.