30 December 2009

Christmas Cookies: Ginger Cookies

In an attempt to share with you all the Christmas treats I made, I present to you, my cookie plate!

Included on the plate are pizzelle, brown sugar "slice & bake" cookies, chocolate dipped Oreos, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate chip cookies, coconut macaroons (store bought by my mommy!), chocolate covered pretzel rods, homemade marshmallows, and ginger cookies.

I hesitate to call these gingersnaps, as the recipe does, because these cookies are not crispy.  They stay soft and chewy, and actually continue to soften with time.  After about a week, they started to head toward mushy.  Luckily, there were only four left (out of the 170+ that the recipe yields!) so I didn't feel too bad.

I know the holiday has passed, but these cookies are delicious and not particularly seasonal, so I thought I'd post the recipe with some photos so you can save this one in your files for anytime you need a non-chocolate cookie recipe (though of course, I'll show you how to make it chocolatey!).

Ginger Cookies
recipe courtesy of Grandma Haas

2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 c. molasses
4 c. AP flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Combine flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a medium sized bowl, set aside.

Mix sugar and oil well.  I used my KitchenAid mixer, but you could also blend with a hand mixer if you prefer.  Add eggs one at a time, beat well to incorporate.  Stir in the molasses.

Add the dry ingredients in batches - I usually do 2-3 additions.  Mix well.  If you are using a KA mixer, you may want to take the bowl off the stand and mix by hand with a spoon - I found that the molasses settled to the bottom and didn't mix completely into the batter.

Shape dough into 3/4" balls, roll in sugar, and place balls at least 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  I have very dark baking sheets, so I baked at 325 for 8 minutes.  I would recommend doing a small trial run with the first batch to make sure your oven temp and timing are perfect. 

Yields 14-1/2 dozen cookies.

The ginger cookies are in the tall pile on the upper left:

If desired, melt dark chocolate candy melts or chocolate chips in the microwave - 60 seconds on defrost, stir, then 30 seconds on defrost.  Continue microwaving in 30 second increments on defrost, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted.  Dip half the cookie into the chocolate, then set on wax paper to cool.  The original recipe recommends using a mix of white chocolate and shortening, but because I have a major aversion to the latter, you'll never see me combining it with chocolate!

Here are the gift boxes and bags and trays I made for Christmas.  It was a TON of work, but I had a great time doing it!

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