I’m a night baker, at least when it comes to cookies.
I never really plan to make cookies. They’re not something I crave on a regular basis, and I’m not particularly good at making them. BUT, in that magic hour after dinner and during evening television watching, I sometimes find myself itching to make and eat something sweet. And I usually have most of the ingredients I need to whip up a batch (or two or three) of Cookie Monster’s favorite treats.
Last week when the urge hit, I just happened to be on a ginger kick. The result? Several dozen of these pretty decent gingersnap cookies.
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup dark molasses
- 1/3 cup cinnamon sugar
First off, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, and made my cinnamon sugar. You can buy it at the store, but that seems silly. I just mixed together ½ cup of white sugar with 1 tbsp cinnamon. Done. I also sifted together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
I used my stand mixer to beat the shortening until creamy, then added the sugar, then the egg, then the molasses (while the mixer was still going). Next, I added the flour mixture gradually until incorporated into a soft dough. I started off doing this while the mixer was going, but flour started going everywhere, and it was generally a big mess (like in the cartoons!). So I just turned the mixer off to add the flour, then turned it back on to mix. Seems simple, but it’s something that I actually had to think about.
I formed the dough into 1-inch balls, rolled them in the cinnamon sugar, then placed the balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet and baked for about 10 minutes per batch. Then I let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before diving in.
These were really good out of the oven, slightly less good the next day – they got kind of brittle (although they still tasted pretty good). If I make these again in the future, I will try experimenting with oven temp and bake time to keep them soft, and will attempt to remember to throw a piece of bread in with them. But for a last-minute, nighttime recipe? Not bad at all.