Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ginger Spice Cookies

December 13 is an important holiday for Swedes. St. Lucia Day goes hand in hand with Christmas, symbolizing light over darkness (Lucia/Lucy = light) in a country that can be very dark and very cold in winter. You may have seen an image of a girl in a white robe with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head before... that's Lucia!

The oldest daughter traditionally serves her parents saffron buns and black coffee (St. Lucia brought food during famine), and the traditional sweet is pepparkakor, or gingerbread cookies. The smell of these baking will warm you up this holiday season!

In full disclosure, the recipe is actually called "Chewy Ginger Spice Cookies" but they were only chewy when fresh out of the oven. They quickly became ginger snaps instead, which is ok by me, but it's worth mentioning—perhaps I made mine too thin.

Ginger Spice Cookies
Makes about 38 cookies, from RealSimple
2 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 t. ground ginger
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/8 t. ground cloves
3/4 c. vegetable shortening
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c. molasses
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. granulated sugar, plus more for dusting

Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves.

Using an electric mixer, beat the shortening and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg, molasses, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined (do not overmix).

Place the granulated sugar on a plate. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls; roll in the sugar to coat. Place on parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Using a glass in a twisting motion (so they won't stick), press the balls to a ⅜-inch thickness (or thinner for crisp gingersnaps) and sprinkle with more granulated sugar.

Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the edges are firm, 9 to 11 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails