Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gingerbread Drops ...


Every year, I try to add a new cookie or two into the mix. Sometimes, the cookies become perennials. Other times, they're voted off the cookie island.

I like gingerbread. I like the combination of spices and the earthy flavor. What I don't like is molasses. But I've overcome my distaste of it enough to bake with it.

This recipe uses shortening for the fat, and by now, we all know how I feel about the stuff. So this may be a one-off recipe, unless I can figure out another way to make it (maybe part butter and part applesauce; I'll play around).

A few notes about this one: I used golden raisins and walnuts. I used tablespoons of dough, not teaspoons, and I rolled the dough balls in sugar before baking, which adds just a bit of extra sweetness, but also a pretty frosty effect to the baked cookie. Bake them on baking sheets lined with parchment or a Sil-Pat to ensure a stick-free experience. Also, because I made the cookies bigger, I baked them a bit longer, about 11 minutes. And if you've read the recipe and said, "One tablespoon of milk? What the heck?", I have no idea either. I can't imagine it makes that much of a difference to the finished product, but I included it.

Gingerbread Drop Cookies
(From Better Homes and Gardens web site)

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
 
In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat until well combined. Beat in molasses, eggs, and milk until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 oven about 8 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 90.

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