We're kicking off a week of holiday baked goods today, dear readers.
Actually, my daughters and I got the baking party started last week by appearing Friday on Fox 46's Good Day Charlotte to show off our Sugar Cookies. (Click here to watch the "What's Your Dish?" segment featuring Lucy, Penny and me. Click here to read the blog post all about it.)
Anyhow, ginger cookies are my favorite cookies of all time. Always have been, always will be. And now my two little gingers love baking and eating them, too!
My mom made ginger cookies for me throughout my childhood. Sometimes I'd ask for these cookies -- like ginger snaps but soft -- instead of birthday cake. I still would -- no matter that my birthday is in June.
I say make ginger cookies this holiday season and all year round!
PS: The key to ginger cookies is to find unsulphured blackstrap molasses. Molasses comes from sugar cane and is the byproduct in the production of sugar. Juice extracted from sugar cane is boiled up to three times to become three different kinds of molasses -- light molasses from the first boiling, dark molasses from the second boiling and blackstrap molasses from the third boiling. In these ginger cookies, blackstrap molasses brings out the flavor of the cloves, ginger and cinnamon, whereas light molasses makes some disappoing, bland cookies. Blackstrap molasses is super healthy too, so pass me another cookie. Kidding. No, seriously, for real, pass me another cookie.
PPS: I never bake a single batch of cookies. If I'm getting out all my baking supplies, I'm going to make it worth the effort and double the recipe. This recipe doubles nicely and the cookies freeze well after they are baked, too.
Yields about five dozen cookies
2 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling cookie dough
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to slightly runny
Combine all dry ingredients, except sugar, and set aside. Mix together sugar and all other ingredients. Gradually add the dry mix to the egg and butter mixture. Refrigerate cookie dough for a few hours or overnight -- or place in freezer for a shorter amount of time. Basically, you want to dough to harden a bit so that you can roll it into balls.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into small balls and then roll in sugar. Bake on ungreased or lightly greased cookie sheets for about 9 minutes. You will see the bottoms of the cookies turn very slightly brown. Be careful not to overbake!