Friday, December 19, 2008

82. Spice Sugar Cookies (p. 669)

My dad is one of ten children, and every year, his brothers and sisters and their families have a huge Christmas party. About 100 people come to the party. We rent a hall, and my cousin, who has a catering business, cooks a meal for everyone. But dessert is a pot-luck affair. All of the nieces and nephews bring something for the dessert table.

This year, I made these cookies as my contribution to the array of sweets and treats. I picked this recipe* because it looked easy and tasty. It was both.

To make the dough, I started by sifting together some flour, baking soda, and spices (a hefty amount of cinnamon and ginger, plus some cloves) and a little bit of salt. Then I beat together some vegetable shortening and brown sugar. Then I added an egg and some molasses. Finally, I added the flour mixture, bit by bit, until it was all blended together. Finally, I put the dough in the refrigerator for an hour to firm up.

I made the cookies by rolling tablespoons of dough into little balls and dipping the top half of each ball in sugar. The dough was very dense, but easy to work with. As the dough balls baked, they melted into perfectly rounded cookies with cracked, sparkling tops. They smelled great as the cooked and cooled on racks on the counter.

The Book says that the yield of this recipe is three dozen cookies. But I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to get almost four dozen cookies from one batch of batter. This was great, because after filling up a respectably-sized cookie tray for the party, I was able to save more than a few cookies for myself.

These cookies were great. They are nice little ginger snaps. Sweet and spicy, crisp without being hard or dry. They are exactly what you want to eat with a glass of eggnog.

Date Cooked: December 6, 2008
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: B+

*This recipe, under the name "Ginger Sugar Cookies," is the cookie of the year for 1965 in Gourmet's Favorite Cookies: 1941-2008 web feature.

No comments: