OK. The best smell to behold on any fall or winter evening is inarguably freshly made ginger snap cookies OR cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peels simmered on the stove. Two days ago I decided that my house lacked the cozy smell of fall (my favourite season) and since fall is coming to an end I needed to create the idyllic fall atmosphere. So I made ginger snap cookies. Utter fail.
So I decided to use this sweet adorable, pre-packaged, cookie mix to do the job. That was my first mistake.
What was my second mistake you may ask? Allowing the cuteness of the squirrel to cloud my baking judgement …
In record time I had the cookie dough all mixed, oven pre-heated, and so all that was left to do was set those suckers on the pan and cook them for the allotted time.
Instead what I got were…MUFFIN TOPS! Seriously, it looks like I cut the tops off of twelve all bran muffins, and melted some sugar on top. When my sister came home I could see the disappointment in her eyes at the sight of these “crispy, chewy, spiced just right treats.” She probably thought I was trying to pass them off as some sort of foreign delicacy, le cookie ala muffin… I was most unamused. They didn’t even taste like molasses! That is the last time I trust a cookie mix.
I suppose the cookie dough should have tipped me off slightly to the fact that these were not your average everyday cookies.
I mean, what was I thinking? Those look like what my cat leaves on the staircase after she’s eaten too much food…
So in order to gain some satisfaction from my day redemption was in order. I needed to make a new batch of cookies from scratch and pronto. Luckily for me, baking ginger snaps from scratch means two things: cookies that smell/taste like molasses, and cookies that don’t resemble all-bran. I will admit however that I did have slight trepidation while making this new batch because I was using a recipe I had never used before (I never learn do I…) but no worries! All turned out well, and the recipe actually turned out fantastic! So I’ve decided to write it up for all of you fellow ginger-snap fans who are dying for a little taste of fall.
3/4 Cup Butter
1 Cup sugar plus extra for dipping
1/4 Cup molasses
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
2 Cups flour
TO PREPARE GINGER SNAPS:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (or gas mark 5 for any of my European friends)
2. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together either by hand or with a mixer (my mixer is broken so I’ve mixed everything by hand)
3. Add the egg and molasses and mix until mixture is light and fluffy
4. Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger and mix together
5. Add the flour and continue to mix your dough until well combined
6. At this point you can choose to chill your dough for a half hour in the fridge for easier handling as the dough is actually quite sticky.
7. Pour some sugar into a shallow bowl.
8. Roll the dough into 1/2-inch balls and roll them in the sugar.
9. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about two-inches apart and bake for 10 minutes or until set (you can play around with the bake time depending on your oven. My oven gets quite hot so I often cut a couple minutes off the bake time to ensure I don’t burn things)