Saturday, November 15, 2008
My daughter and I are snuggled up on the couch reading our books while eating ginger cookies and drinking tea. It’s raining and raining and raining. The horses are tucked in their stalls. The dear old dog is asleep at my feet. Aaaah!
I thought I’d share this recipe for Shaker Spice Cookies with you. It is very special to me, and even people who don’t like cookies fall in love with these. During my childhood, growing up in the Midwest, these cookies were part of fall and winter. After raking leaves or going ice skating, I remember always finding a plate of warm ginger cookies next to my cup of hot chocolate. When I grew up and moved to New York City, I asked my mom for the recipe. She told me that she had lost it!
For over fifteen years, I tried every ginger cookie recipe I could find but none of them hit the mark. Finally, one holiday season when I lived in California, in the Los Angeles Times, I found this recipe. Oh comfort and joy - it was the right one. So, as the leaves come down each Autumn, my family and friends begin asking me, and the cookie sheets start filling up. Since I can’t send a batch to each of you, here’s how to bake them. (Don’t over-cook since they’re better when they’re soft.)
SHAKER SPICE COOKIES
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
2/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of molasses
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 tsp. of cloves
1/2 tsp. of ginger
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of salt
Put the oil, egg, molasses in a mixing bowl and beat until well mixed. Add the sugar.
Then, add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt and baking soda.
Mix in the flour 1/2 cup at a time - sometimes, towards the end, I use my fingers to really mix up the dough.
Cover 2 cookie sheets (or better yet, 4 sheets if you have them) with parchment paper so the cookies don’t stick. Roll little balls of the dough and drop 12 on each cookie sheet, spaced apart so they don’t run together when they flatten out.
Bake five minutes with one sheet on each rack of the oven. After five minutes, take out the cookie sheet, flatten each cookie with a fork and sprinkle a little sugar on it. Switch the cookie sheet to the other rack - so it browns on both the bottom and the top. Don’t let the cookies over bake or they won’t be chewy - about 3 to 5 more minutes.
Yields 48 cookies. Store them in an airtight container - if they get hard, you can wrap them in a paper towel and microwave them for 10 seconds to make them soft and chewy again.