Once the snow starts falling, all the decorations are up, and the shopping and merriment has commenced, what else can you do to further fill your lives (and homes!) with the Christmas spirit?
Why, some delicious Christmas baking, of course!
One thing I’ve never posted here on my blog is recipes. But that’s not because I didn’t want to. Oh, how I’ve wanted to! But in the Seeker of Truth universe of so-bad-it’s-good horror movies, fine art, classic TV shows, and Bible verses, I was afraid that recipes just wouldn’t fit in here. Not to mention my mostly-male readership who might be bored with kitchen-talk!
I had big plans for a second blog, actually. One that was so feminine, domestic and retro that you might expect to find Grace Kelly, Holly Golightly, Penelope Pitstop and Rosie the Riveter having tea and swapping recipes there. (How’s that for an interesting visual!)
Instead, this year I opted for a second Twitter account. Maybe the second blog will materialize in 2018. But until then, I’m going to finally go ahead and branch out into different topics of interest here.
If anyone follows me on Twitter, you’ll know that I love baking. I use a lot of #SundayBaking hashtags over there. Whether it’s my mom’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies, grandma’s pierogi, the signature sausage and roasted red pepper bisque I cooked up myself, or something that looked too good to pass up on Pinterest, if I’m not in the studio, I’m in the kitchen.
So today, I want to share my favourite new recipe, and what has quickly become a holiday must-bake.
Ginger Chew Cookies.
Traditionally, it’s a ginger snap cookie that you might make for the holidays. But when you discover the perfect chew in a cookie? Ooo, it’s pretty hard to resist making it this way. Besides, snap cookies are messy. You need a plate or a napkin, and while I do enjoy dunking a cookie in a hot cup of tea, I don’t like the feeling that I have to in order to keep all my teeth intact.
These cookies are sweet, with just a hint of delicious molasses bitterness to keep them from being too sweet. And rolled in white sugar, they come out of the oven glittering. And we all know how this gal feels about glitter…
I am NOT the originator of this basic recipe, although I have modified it and changed the cooking temperature and time in order to achieve a chewy cookie instead of a snappy one.
Delicious served warm from the oven, or cold from a Christmas container, these are equally good with tea (or coffee, if you prefer!) or milk. But the chewy texture is the real star attraction of these cookies. So do not over-bake them!
If anyone whips up a batch of these for the holidays, do let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed them. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Happy baking and Merry Christmas!
Ginger Chew Cookies
*makes approximately 40 cookies*
3/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar (in a bowl) for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. We’ll lower that temp for the actual baking time.
Beat together butter, molasses, egg and sugar. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt. Add flour and stir until ingredients are completely incorporated and a stiff dough forms.
Since we’re going to roll the cookies in sugar before baking, you’ll want to chill the dough. Form the dough into a ball or a log, and cover tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Once the dough is cold and firm, remove the plastic wrap and use a spoon to portion off a cookie-size amount. Form each cookie into a ball and roll in the sugar. Place cookies at least an inch apart on a greased cookie sheet.*
Lower the oven temperature to 320ºF and bake for 8 minutes.
Let the cookies rest for a minute before you remove them from the cookie sheet. Place them on a wire rack to cool. The cookies are very soft. If you don’t want the bottoms to take on the shape of the wire rack, lay a piece of wax paper over the rack, and then place your cookies on that.
*Note: When I bake any type of cookie, I use an insulated aluminum cookie sheet like this one. These sheets are designed to prevent overheating and help keep your baking from burning. If you are using a regular baking sheet, you may need to experiment with the cooking time and temperature. Also, my oven tends to run quite hot. I always need to adjust cooking times and lower the temperature when I try new recipes. Always keep in mind that in a recipe, the cooking time and temperature are just guidelines. You know your oven — bake accordingly!
Also, these cookies are extremely susceptible to heat. Make sure your pans are cooled down completely before you bake another round of cookies on them!