It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…

Christmas!

Heehee, well there is a lot of stuff getting ready to happen. This post coincides with tomorrow’s, since it is actually USED in tomorrow’s recipe! I’ll let you guys think and ponder about what the recipe is for tomorrow, I will tell you that it is seasonal, but also special. 🙂

Gingersnaps are a delicious part of the holiday season, I have personally become rather obsessed with ginger and its application in baked goods. Mm, but I will let you know that it was those as well as several other seasonal spices, even a rather unusual one, that let these particular gingersnaps sing. Or snap. Or sing and snap their fingers.

If cookies had fingers…

But they don’t, so let’s just drop what I just said from memory for forever and ever. Thank you.

I found this recipe on David Lebovitz’s website, though it is actually a recipe from a book that he had read. That’s a confusing analogy, so here is the link: There you go

The interesting ingredient here is the use of black pepper, which I hadn’t really seen before, but I decided to brave it out and give it a go. Maybe it filtered in with the other spices but, in all honesty, I didn’t notice it very much and was a bit disappointed. On the plus side, I used ingredients that the recipe did not call for, like nutmeg and ground cloves, to up that season’s cheer factor. Also, I substituted brown sugar for the granulated and added another 1/4 cup of molasses, for a deeper, richer flavor.

Let me know!

Chez Panisse Gingersnap Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups (280 g) flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
11 tablespoons (150 g) butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (80 g) mild-flavored molasses* (sometimes called ‘light’ molasses)
1 large egg, at room temperature

(NOTE: I substituted Golden Brown Sugar for the granulated and added 3/4 tsp. Grated Nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. of ground cloves. Also, I never rolled the dough and chilled into a log, then sliced, but actually dropped the dough onto the cookie sheets and sprinkled with sugar, they were fine that way, not too thin.)

Method
1. Stir together the dry ingredients.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter just until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until smooth, stopping the mixer to scrape down any butter clinging to the sides of the bowl.

3. Stir in the vanilla, molasses and egg.

4. Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.

5. Divide the dough in two equal portions and roll each on a lightly-floured surface until each is about 2-inches (5cm) around. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect; you can neaten them up in a second.

6. Wrap each in plastic wrap then roll them lightly on the counter to smooth them out. Refrigerate, or better yet, freeze the cookie logs until firm.

7. To bake, preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

8. Slice cookie dough into 1/4-inch (a scant 1 cm) rounds with a sharp knife. Dip one side and press firmly in a bowl of coarse sugar if you want (you can also use granulated sugar instead), and place sugar-side up on baking sheet, evenly-spaced apart. Leave a couple of inches, about 5 cm, between cookies since they’ll spread while baking.

9. Bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until deep-golden brown. The cookies will puff up a bit while baking, then settle down when they’re done. Bake on the lower end of the range for softer cookies, and more for snappier ones, depending on your oven.

10. Let the cookies cool two minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.

Storage: The dough can be refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months. Once baked, the cookies can be kept in an air-tight container for a couple of days but like anything made with butter, of course they’re best the day they’re baked.

Happy Baking!
Clara

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4 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…

  1. I used to get fabulous Christmas cookies at a little bakery in Tulsa that had black pepper in them. They were a simple kind of a snap, brown sugar cookies, perhaps. And the pepper really popped.

  2. SO Talented! I died over the paula deen post. Chocolate chip cookies the other day were fab city too!

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