Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Chewy Molasses Ginger Chews
It's been a very quiet month on the blog. I hate that it's been this way, especially since I was so excited to announce my big comeback and get back into blogging regularly. Everything just seemed to happen at once though--coming back to blogging, searching for an apartment, actually moving in, Thanksgiving, the holidays, getting a new stove, getting sick, lots of freelance work...things have been pretty hectic around here, to say the least. Fortunately though, personal life seem to be getting back on track and quieting down, so hopefully I'll actually get to keep my promise and get back to blogging consistently (and enjoying some downtime in my new place!). One can only hope, right?
As busy as things have been lately, I did make sure to sign up for this year's Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. It's my third year participating, and I look forward to baking and receiving cookies more and more each year. What I don't look forward to is choosing what to bake. It's silly, because that should be the part that I get most excited for, but it never works out that way. I can never ever make up my mind, so then I end up stressing more than I should over what to make. That's the only part that's no fun at all, but once I figure it out, I love the rest! I love figuring out how to package the cookies, getting sweet surprises in the mail, and of course, knowing that this enormous blogger event is benefitting Cookies for Kid's Cancer, a really fantastic organization that works to provide research grants to leading pediatric centers across the country who are looking to find more effective treatments for children battling cancer. It's a beautiful cause, and it's incredible to see how much the Cookie Swap grows each year!
This year, I got some really great cookies from Emily from It Bakes Me Happy, Patty from The PKP Way, and Kelly from Long Distance Baking. These blogs were all new to me up until a few weeks ago, so it was great getting some exposure to new bloggers. Thanks everyone for the delicious cookies!
But let's talk about the cookies I ended up sending. After much debate, I ended up choosing a cookie that happens to be one of my all-time favorites and is pretty much made for cookie swaps: Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies. I'm obsessed with anything and all things flavored with ginger and loaded with spices, and the fact that Ginger Molasses Cookies stay moist and delicious for several days makes them an ideal candidate for a cookie swap, especially when they have to travel from NY to California!
This recipe couldn't be simpler to pull off, and it only takes minutes to mix up. In my adapted recipe, I upped the ginger and added cardamom for a little extra warmth, and lowered the sugar slightly, just so that the spices wouldn't get masked by excess sweetness. I made these cookies in a stand mixer, but it's really not necessary. You can definitely make these with just a hand mixer, a large bowl, and a little elbow grease, but they'll still come together quickly and effortlessly. And did I mention that one batch of cookies (as written below) makes almost 4 dozen cookies? With one batch of cookies I had enough to send to Eleana from Chou Down, Lynsey from Lynsey Lou's, Emily from The Kitchen Adventurer, and keep a few extra for myself to try. That's my kind of cookie!
While these cookies taste amazing, I actually think my favorite part about them is that they get rolled in turbinado sugar before baking. While they bake, the cookies spread into big rounds, and the turbinado sugar creates this beautiful jeweled effect, making the cookies sparkle and look incredibly festive and special. These cookies, with their traditional winter flavorings and elegant sparkle, would be right at home on any Christmas platter of cookies. Thanks again to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for hosting and organizing this massive event. I can't wait until next year's swap--maybe I should start thinking of what cookies to send a year in advance!
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
adapted from Gimme Some Oven
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 scant cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg, at room temperature
turbinado sugar, for rolling
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and salt.
In the bowl of a standard electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the molasses and the egg, until combined. Add the flour mixture all at once, and mix on low speed until just combined. Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line three baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
Roll the dough into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Fill a small bowl with turbinado sugar and roll each ball to coat completely. Place each ball of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about an inch apart. Refrigerate each baking sheet of cookies as you fill them, in order to keep them as chilled as possible.
Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, until the cookies begin to just crack on top. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.
Makes 45 cookies