Happy Monday! Tis the week of Valentines day, and I’m woefully unprepared. I spent the past couple of days at Notre Dame and did not even think about what I’d be doing for Valentine’s day until last night. So then TC mentioned he bought me a marble pastry board (I’ve totally wanted this forever, actually) and I was like WHAAAAT VALENTINES DAY IS HERE OH NO.
But it’s okay, I’m prepared! Ordered a buttload of stuff last night, and have a good idea of what I’m going to make. I finally bought cookie cutters (yes I’ve never had cookie cutters before!), a icing spreading spatula thing, and food coloring, so can’t wait to see how these things turn out. Hint - there will be shortbread cookies, dulce the leche, and layer cakes. Hopefully. Because to be honest, I’ve made layer cakes at least three or four times in my (rather short) baking career, but they’ve never worked out. Can I blame my spreading spatula, which was always just a plastic knife? Or can I blame my crappy knifework, which makes my layers uneven and mildly resemble the leaning tower of Pisa? I mean, we’ll see how this works out.
But it ain’t the big V-Day yet, and my stuff hasn’t arrived anyway so I couldn’t test anything out. But I’ve been away from home so long (okay 4 days, that’s not that long I guess) that I’ve been really itching to make something tasty to go with my pot of tea (oh how I’ve missed you, teapot). So I broke my rule, my don’t bake in the morning rule. Baking in the morning always makes me feel guilty because of what my mom used to say - the morning is your most productive time, so try to get as much work done as possible in the mornings, and leave the hobbies for late afternoon or late at night.
Sorry mom! My bad!
I broke out a recipe I’d been meaning to try, a ginger molasses cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She described them as pillowy soft! At this point I have to ask, am I the only one who is used to, and absolutely loves, the flat chewy gingersnap cookies? Or the amazing crunchy ones from Trader Joes? Are they actually SUPPOSED to be soft but I’d never actually tasted a good one in my life? But really, have I been missing out??
I hate to say this, but these are like the best gingersnaps I’ve ever put in my mouth. I mean, I don’t hate to say it because gingersnaps are my favorite cookies in the world, and it blows my mind when it’s great. I just hate to say it because I feel like my whole understanding of them has failed me completely. The chewy ones and the crispy ones are still great, but oh my goodness these are GREAT. I made a batch of cookies at 9am this morning, and they are all gone (okay we are not that fat, TC took them away to feed his friends). I’d totally make these again, but definitely keep it at ten cookies each time because they are sort of lethal.
I adapted the recipe somewhat, not because I was feeling particularly adventurous or creative, but because I didn’t really have all the necessary ingredients (whoops). Notably, I used freshly grated ginger instead of ground ginger, which turned out quite well because because the ginger bits got sort of candied by the batter and it was amazing. I skipped the cloves and increased the cinnamon and nutmeg. In the end, I used sugar in the raw to roll the cookies dough. Pair it with some ginger orange black tea (I just use loose black tea, 1 tsp grated ginger, and 2 tsp zest of orange for a 20oz pot), and life is good.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
30 small cookies
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
What you need:
- 3/4 cup butter, unsalted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup molasses (dark or not, I don’t even know what kind mine is…)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 cup sugar in the raw
How to do it:
- Cream butter and brown sugar together until well combined. Beat in egg, vanilla, and molasses.
- Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together, and then stir in the grated ginger. Add the dry mix into the wet mix in three batches, mixing in between until smooth.
- Pop the cookie dough into the coldest part of your refrigerator for two hours.
- Line cookie sheet(s). With your hands (I mean it, I tried it with a cookie scoop and it was uncooperative), roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in the sugar in the raw. Place cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet about 1-2inches apart. The original recipe indicated 2 inches, but I think 1 inch might be enough because the cookies don’t really spread that much.
- Return the entire cookie sheet to the refrigerated and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees in the meantime.
- Bake the cookies for around 8-10min, when it has puffed up and the edges have set. Don’t overbake! Tis the key…
- Let cookies sit for five minutes to set, and then eat it all!