ginger hoard ::::
I hoard recipes. There, I said it. I tuck each away in my recipe notebook, my computer, old post drafts on the blog, or even on my Pinterest boards, sometimes jumping in right away and accomplishing said recipe testing, eating, and re-test. Or, I let some recipes sit and fester, those becoming more soft and gooey than the freshly viewed novelty recipes from my latest Food & Wine magazine or Pinterest, like a quick sand of ingredient lists, hard to ever resurface. Of the hoarded recipes I have, dessert recipes are by far the majority, closely seconded by drinks. It is the Christmas season that brings out this secreting away, almost stealthily, in hopes that I’ll forget how many peppermint bark recipes I have and will never make. Many of these recipes are mere curiosities to me rather than true interest in attempting (cake box cookies? low fat chocolate brownies with plum baby food?). I gravitate to the “scratch” cookies, veering away from the ready-made.
It is the in betweeners, the ones that are the standbys, the strongholds in my cache, who patiently wait to be baked or cooked, mixed or kneaded. And sometimes it’s just because my auxillary recipe storage is my mother’s head and recipe stash. This is one of those recipes.
My first memory of these cookies is when my sister made these years ago, bringing a large, wide bowl of them to our parents’ house. It is easy to fill a bowl and awe your guests with the gingery, sparkly cookies within, but hard to keep it full. These cookies are wonderful for the holidays, for family celebrations or work parties alike. Since my sister’s debut, my mother has adopted these as one of her signature cookies, and we always rave about them when she brings them to us. I finally got the recipe the last time my mum visited — and she made them, of course, twice in one visit. We will not be spending Christmas with parents this year unfortunately, but I will think of the cookies we all enjoy. These also travel well for care packages through the mail, staying moist and chewy for days. It might just be something Santa can enjoy after his initial cookie glut, still fresh and gingery tasting as on the day the cookies were baked. Santa may hoard cookies and he knows which ones are worth eating. *wink*
- 1½ cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup molasses
- 4½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons very finely grated fresh ginger (my addition to my mum's recipe)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- white sugar, for dredging
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream together shortening and sugar, then add eggs one at a time, beating in between each addition.
- Stir in molasses and freshly grated ginger.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and spices.
- Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet, mixing to combine without overmixing.
- Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet (or without parchment). Prepare dough in tablespoonfuls, rolling into smooth balls and dredging in sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet, pressing down slightly to flatten. If in a humid kitchen, refrigerate the dough a few minutes before baking. Cookies will spread some and form a crackled surface when baking. Bake about 12 minutes.