Thursday, October 30, 2014

flavorFALL - perfect gingersnaps (without molasses)




I'm sitting in a downtown Boston hotel, late at night, listening to the Ken Burns soundtrack from his Lewis and Clark film and blogging about gingersnaps.  It's really quite surreal, to tell you the truth.  And if you like Early American music, you really need to take a listen to the soundtrack.  

Oh, and did I mention how much I wish John were here?

About fourteen years ago, my history buff and teacher husband wrote a grant to travel to this area and study for about 10 days.  It was a most enjoyable trip, as we walked part of the Lewis and Clark cobblestone trail, experienced Salem, explored Plymouth, strolled along the beaches of Chatham, learned about the Industrial Revolution and celebrated our nation's birthday listening to the Boston Pops and watching the fireworks on the St. Charles River.  I won't ever forget it. And tonight, as I walked just a portion of those same cobblestone streets I did all those years ago with John, I smiled in my heart for the adventure God blessed us with when life together was fairly new and we had much joy ahead of us to live. We had no idea how much joy, but He did. And I might mention the trip was so meaningful to us Luke's middle name was given to him in honor of it... Luke Cambridge... I love that name. And I love this place.

So, what does all of this have to do with gingersnaps you ask?  Not a thing.  Except being here in the fall with the mums and pumpkins adorning historic wooden doors of what are now quaint apartments near the Old North Church and such, along with the known fact that these "ginger biscuits" were greatly enjoyed during colonial times in both European countries and America, I couldn't help but think of them while in this town and wanted to share.  

Our whole family really enjoyed these last week and then again this week.  I made two batches, back-to-back, because they went quickly.  It's the first time I've made them without molasses.  We love them with it, but I didn't have any last week when I got a hankering, so I searched and came across this recipe.  So glad I gave it a try.  I did tweak it slightly and added a dash of pepper and a little allspice to give it a slight bite, in case the lack of molasses left room for a bit more zest.  I loved the result.  There's a slight crunch on the outside while the inside remains soft.  And the cracks are just perfect, are they not?!?

I really loved these with a cup of coffee.  John and Daniel ate theirs so fast, I'm not sure they took time to drink anything, and I think Luke preferred them dunked in milk.  Anyway you have them, you can't go wrong.  As the name states, they're just... well... perfect.

Perfect Gingersnaps
makes about 3 1/2 dozen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup white sugar, divided
  • 7 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

~ In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, pepper and allspice.  Set
    aside.

~ In a large mixing bowl, mix together 3/4 cup white sugar, butter and brown sugar until 
    fluffy.

~ Add in honey, vanilla, egg and mix. 

~ Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.  Cover
    and freeze for one hour.  

~ Line a baking pan with parchment paper.  With a cookie scoop, roll scooped dough into
    ball and roll in remaining g sugar.  Place two inches apart on cookie sheet.

~ Bake 12-13 minutes until golden.  Remove and let cool 1-2 minutes.  Remove to a cooling 
    rack.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.