It doesn’t snow very often in Seattle, but when it does, the city is paralyzed. They have been known for cancelling school when only a few flakes come down, so when it really does come down, kids are usually home for days. Today we are on day two, although yesterday they did have school for a whole two hours – so the school system is not counting it as a snow day. They have already cancelled school for tomorrow.
I love when it snows, except for when work gets in the way – which it definitely did today. I had a full day of meetings planned, so I took what I could from home, and the rest were rescheduled. Unfortunately though, I still had a mountain of work to get through…so I missed sledding down the street with the kids today. They were out for a good two hours or so before they came back in absolutely frozen solid. I decided it was time for a break – time to warm them up, and time to start cooking something for dinner. I wanted to utilize the stove and the oven, and cook things that I didn’t have to babysit. I chose some more Split Pea Soup (with the rest of the ham hocks in the freezer) and some Beer Braised Beef. I put them both together in under an hour, and I was able to spend the rest of the afternoon working with that wonderful smell waffling in the background.
Once the kids played for a few more hours (yes, by themselves for hours!!) they started asking about baking. I told them I just had to get a little more work done, and then we could make cookies. I figured since dinner was already done (for two nights!) we could spend our normal dinner making hours baking – they loved that idea.
I wanted to make these cookies during the holidays, but I just ran out of time. I don’t say this very often, but I am saying this now – GO MAKE THESE COOKIES NOW – these were the best freakin’ gingersnaps I have ever had – Cook’s Illustrated said they were the best, but I have found them to be wrong in the past, so I can never be too sure. They were right on this time. They were the perfect cookies for the girls to help with as well – they loved rolling the dough in the sugar. I only made 64, but then again, my cookies were a little bigger than a teaspoon a piece. Also – if you like a chewier cookie, then take them out of the oven at about 6 minutes instead of the 10-12 the recipe says (second round of baking). I have already had a few, and the night is still young.
So – tomorrow is another day, and another day filled with work and meetings - but hopefully since I already made dinner, we can have another baking night…the snow might paralyze the city, but not our baking!
- 2 ½ cups (12 ½ oz. flour)
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 12 tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 tbs. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 ¼ cups (8 ¾ oz.) dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
- ½ cup (3 ½ oz. sugar)
Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in bowl. Heat butter in 10 inch skillet over medium heat until melted. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook, swirling pan frequently, until foaming subsides and butter is just beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer butter to large bowl and whisk in ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, molasses, and fresh ginger to butter mixture and whisk to combine. Add egg and yolk and whisk to combine. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Adjust oven racks to up-per middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place granulated sugar in shallow baking dish. Divide dough into heaping teaspoon portions; roll dough into 1-inch balls. Working in batches of 10, roll balls in sugar to coat. Evenly space dough balls on prepared baking sheets, 20 dough balls per sheet.
Place 1 sheet on upper rack and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer partially baked top sheet to lower, rack, rotating 180 degrees and place second sheet of dough balls on upper rack. Continue to bake until cookies on lower tray just begin to darken around edges, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove lower sheet of cookies and shift upper sheet to lower rack and continue to bake until cookies begin to darken around edges, 15 to 17 minutes. Slide baked cookies, still on parchment, to wire rack and cool completely before serving. Cool baking sheets slightly and repeat step 3 with remaining dough balls.
Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Let dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping. Let frozen dough thaw overnight before proceeding with recipe. Cooled cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks in airtight container.
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