I bake when I am sad and cook when I’m hungry.
I was sad because everything I made this week turned to a mush or a plop or a splatter or a schlop.
So I made cookies because even if they burn, at least I get to lick the batter.
I noticed a pattern, though. Whenever something is bothering me, when my mind is somewhere else, I start to burn things. And not in a pyromaniac sort of way like the kid in grade school who was always lighting the teacher’s trashcan on fire.
I just burn food in pots and pans.
And toaster ovens.
But I didn’t burn (all of) these…
You know those infamous orange and brown cookie boxes that appear every fall and lurk on the end caps of every supermarket in America?
Well once you make them at home, you will never eat one from an orange box again. The rich molasses creamed together with warm butter and sugar and infused with freshly grated ginger and nutmeg is a flavor profile not to be missed this time of year. You can make them thin and crispy, with a biscotti like crunch and dunk them in hot tea, or you can under bake them a tad for a chewy gooey version that the wee ones can sink their teeth into.
Not to mention that these are probably the most nutrient dense cookie on the planet.
recipe adapted from Mark Bittman
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger (peel ginger root and use a grater with tiny holes)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons hot water
3 ½ cups flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
Cream together the sugar, butter, molasses and fresh ginger. Mix the baking soda with the water and beat into the sugar-butter mixture.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl and fold into the butter mixture. Stir until completely mixed. Form the dough into two logs. Roll the logs onto sheets of wax paper. (The dough is super sticky, so sprinkling the wax paper with flour will help reduce stickiness) Freeze for a few hours or overnight.
Remove the dough from the freezer and preheat the oven to 350. Slice the dough into rounds. If you like crispy, crunchy cookies, slice them super thin. If you like them a little chewier and softer, cut them slightly thicker. Baking time will vary from 7-10 minutes, depending on the thickness. Keep a close eye on the first batch to modify the timing. Cool on a wire rack.
These would be perfect tied with twine and a little name tag as a little treat for your Thanksgiving guests. Or tuck them into a tiny pot as a hostess gift.