September 16, 2005

Ginger Snaps!

Once the weather gets cool, I consider it Fall. We get Fall weather here in the mountains earlier than normal. So I am already in the Fall mode….thinking about mums in my garden, looking for changing leaves, and rooting out my Fall recipes. Pumpkin bars, apple pie, soups, aaaaaaaaand the ever Fallish of Fall recipes….ginger snaps. We lived in New Jersey for almost ten years and every Fall we would go to the store and see tall stacks of orange boxes at the end of the grocery isles…..boxes of Sweetzel’s Spiced Wafers. By the second Fall we lived there, I had to buy a box of them since there were so many stacked up in every store you went to, that it made you curious as to what was so special about these cookies….well it made me curious anyway. From the first bite, they became my favorite cookie. They weren’t like other ginger snaps…..they were almost black with spices and hard as a rock, so you has to dunk them in your coffee or milk, which just added to their charm.

When we moved to Arizona, I was sorely disappointed when Fall came and there were no Sweetzels….anywhere. A friend of mine from New Jersey sent me 2 boxes of them one Fall because I had talked about it so much…, whined about it probably. She felt sorry for me. =) The next season, I decided I would go on a search for the perfect ginger snap recipe. I don’t know if you’ve made ginger snaps before, but there is a lot of variance in ingredients and taste. It took 2 years and probably 4 bottles of molasses to find a good recipe. And now I’m sharing it with you…cuz I’m so nice. I just want you to have a wonderful Fall and to have the snappiest ginger snaps to lead the way. They are best if you have a tall glass of ice cold, freshly pressed apple cider with them, but if not, use the beverage of your choice….coffee, tea, milk.

Ginger Snaps

3 sticks butter
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sugar (or 1 c brown sugar and 1 c white sugar)
2 eggs
4 cups flour (I use half whole wheat flour)
4 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves (heaping tsp)

Soften the butter. Add the molasses, sugar and eggs. Beat well. Sift together the spices, flour and soda. Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture. Mix well. Refrigerate overnight. When thoroughly chilled, form into small balls about 1 inch in width. Roll the top side of these balls in sugar. Place on greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.

Tip: Use sugar in the raw, or turbino sugar to roll the cookies in before baking. The larger sugar crystals make them look cool.

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