Every year at Thanksgiving my family converges to talk and laugh and eat Chinese food. (Yes, you read that right. One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is duck with spoon vegetables.) This year, the first that I’ve had both time and a kitchen at my disposal before the day, I’m taking my own contribution to the festivities.
These ginger snap cookies are sweet, lightly spicy, and go perfectly with a glass of cold milk. If you need a (rather shaky) excuse, tell yourself that both cinnamon and ginger are good for your digestive system and cinnamon and cloves have shown some promise in regulating the body’s blood sugar. Or just tell yourself that you deserve a delicious cookie.
Use a hand-mixer and plastic or wooden utensils
to keep the batter from clinging to the bowl.
Photo by Lauren Holt
Ginger Snap Cookies
It is useful to have a hand-mixer or an electronic mixer for this recipe because the batter will get very thick. Also, use a flour sifter (or a fine mesh screen) so that the dry ingredients will mix evenly. I suggest the use of plastic and wooden utensils as much as possible, as the batter will cling to metal. MAKES 33 COOKIES
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup molasses
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
NOTE: You can substitute an unrefined sugar for the brown sugar, and please tell me about it if you do; I’d like to know how the texture changes. Similarly, about 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 to 3/4 cup whole wheat flour could replace the white flour, but it will likely change the texture of the finished cookies. If you would like to use fresh or candied ginger rather than ground, keep in mind that these forms are much stronger than the ground ginger. I haven’t tried either yet but I’d hazard that about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger would be enough or more than, depending on your taste.
1. Cream together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg and molasses, being sure to add the molasses last.
2. Spoon flour into the measuring cup to avoid adding too much by packing it.
3. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into the bowl, mixing occasionally to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. Begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees. (Spooning out the cookies generally takes a while and this saves some energy.)
5. Use a measuring tablespoon to scoop out dough and place it on greased cookie sheets at least 1 1/2 inches apart. The batter will settle into circular shapes, or you can easily aide the cookie formation with your fingers.
6. Bake for nine to ten minutes. The cookies are done when they are golden brown and slightly darker at the edges. Don’t worry if they're still soft; they will harden as they cool.
7. Let cool for 15 minutes before eating. In my experience, these cookies get spicier the long you let them sit. Full flavor may not be reached until the second or third day.
Top: These cookies settle significantly; make sure you space them.
Bottom: If your oven heats evenly the cookies should crinkle.
Photos by Lauren Holt
Enjoy your baking!