Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ginger snaps:

Ok, so I promised, and now that I found the charger for my camera battery, I'm able to deliver. Here, finally, is my inaugural recipe. And to make this whole task even more daunting, this recipe is also being submitted to Susan over at Food Blogga in support of her Eat Christmas Cookies event! So for those of you who are venturing over from her site, welcome. And anyone else who may be stumbling upon this site, welcome to you too.

One of my random winter(holiday) memories from my childhood was this brand of ginger snaps that my dad loved that came in this orange box. I have no idea what brand it was, but I can remember just how they tasted. Yummy. Especially when dunked in milk. Ever since moving out to Ohio I've never seen them again. So, after seeing Susan's notice about the Eat Christmas Cookies event I knew that I wanted to submit a ginger snaps recipe. Not just to support a great event, but to have an excuse to eat ginger snaps again (how many batches does it take to perfect a recipe?). Good thing I recently bought more milk.

These cookies are an amalgam of a couple recipes that I found on the internet and my own random cooking/baking intuition, and despite using an obscene amount of butter all in one go, they're awesome. And thats not just my opinion, everyone I pawned them off on (this recipe makes A LOT of cookies) loved them too! You may find yourself with a few new friends around the office after bringing in a batch of these. Although they may think you're trying to fatten them up when you give them each a gallon sized Ziploc bag full. So now, without further ado...

Ginger Snaps:
Makes roughly 7 dozen cookies!

1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp ground ginger paste
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment.
2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add molasses and eggs and mix well.
3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in batches and mix thoroughly. Lastly, blend in the ginger paste.
4. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

Notes: Cookies will be crisp but not hard, adjust time as desired for slightly softer/harder cookies. I've had a comment from a reader who asked about the ginger paste. The kind I use is in a tube, similar to this brand. I find mine in the produce section of my local grocery store and the stuff stores beautifully in the freezer for a few months (its still squeezable!). If you can't find tube based, you might also find it in jars in the "Ethnic Foods" section, but you should check the ingredients to make sure it doesn't include garlic or other ingredients that might not work in a cookie recipe. You can always use ground ginger from your spice rack (~1 tbsp depending on how strong it is) and some finely chopped candied ginger. I'll probably make a post about the ginger paste and its usefulness later this week for those who would like more details.

The results?
They're just like I remembered. Perfect size, color, shape, texture and most importantly, taste.

Ginger Snaps 3

What I like most about using the ginger paste over ground ginger is that you can still see the flecks of ginger in the cookie after its baked. You could use ground ginger along with candied ginger though, but then you would want to chop the candied ginger into finer pieces.

Ginger Snaps 2

Ginger Snaps 1

So, I hope you all enjoy the first recipe for this blog. More will be added shortly so I hope you come back and find some new/interesting/possibly odd recipes to try at your own home. And don't forget to check out all the other recipes submitted for Eat Christmas Cookies. I know I have a few on my weekend/vacation to-do list now. Oh, and comments are highly encouraged! Take care.


Susan from Food Blogga said...

7 dozen? That is a gazillion cookies. I'm sure you made a lot of people very happy, Mike. I'm so glad you decided to submit the cookies to my event. Best of luck and blog on! :)

Anonymous said...

What is ground ginger paste? Is there a substitute?

Anonymous said...

I've updated the post to include some information about the ginger paste and alternatives you could use. I'll be doign a full post on the ginger paste I use later this week for those who want more details.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe! Being out in Japan, I couldn't find any powdered ginger and was surfing around for recipes that might use the paste form they sell out here...and bingo! Perfect! Light, crunchy, and very gingery.

(I had to substitute brown sugar for the molasses, though--next time I'll see if I can't find some kuromitsu to try instead.)

Also, I got a good four and a half dozen out of just a half batch, so with any luck, my man is going to be very well fed this weekend. Thanks again!