Sunday, 2 December 2012

Happy Treatmas: Gingersnaps

Mwah, mwah, mwah: My blog - have MEESED you!

It has been a crazy-busy fall but I am back.  I've been looking forward to some Christmas sharing, from me to start with, but also from you, I hope, if you have some delicious sweet tradition of your own to tell me about!

I start to feel like baking when December 1st hits.  The rest of the year, I am more inclined to make cakes and other desserts to be sliced up and shared; for Christmas, I love fussing with the individual goodies.

One of the must-makes in my house is gingersnap cookies.  My dad's parents, Howard and Marion Lawton, immigrated to Alberta from Iowa, U.S.A. in 1932.  They became cattle ranchers and lived a simple but interesting life with their four boys and beloved horses.  As a little girl, no older than 9-year-old, my senses captured the typical evening scene in their dining room:  the much-used Scrabble board on the table, sprinkled with fragrant bits of Grandpa's Sail pipe tobacco, half-full coffee cups, a dish of gingersnaps, westerns or mysteries in my grandparents' hands or left open at the last-read page like little tents, Grandma usually wearing a cardigan adorned with a brooch, her hair in a bun, and Grandpa with a bolo tie and a cowboy shirt. 

A display I made for our Lawton family reunion

Yesterday would've been Grandpa Howard's 111th birthday; he passed away on the New Year's Eve before Gregory was born.  Grandma died of cancer when I was in Grade 3, and I remember missing my class' Hallowe'en party for her funeral.  I wish I had had more years with them, but my dad was the youngest brother so I was lucky to have spent as much time with them as I did.  Scrabble and homemade gingersnaps during the holidays are the connections to them I hold dear. 


My favorite cookie recipe is from Company's Company; I found it on their website's Free recipes section! 
  • WARNING: The dough is quite sticky so sometimes I dip my hands in cold water or give them a spray of Pam before rolling the balls. More often, though, I just remind myself, "Oh, yeah, this is the messy'll be over soon..."
  • I usually use the coarse white decorating sugar to roll the cookies in to give them more sparkle and crunch; I make the amount of sugar go further by rolling only the top 2/3 of the cookie in it instead of the whole ball.  Last year, I found and used three varieties of Wilton Sparkling Sugars with beautiful results!

  • The yield given by the recipe isn't usually how many it makes for me though I do follow their 1" ball size.  I wouldn't want them any smaller! 

Hard margarine (or butter), softened                      ¾ cup           175 mL
Granulated sugar                                                   1 cup            250 mL
Large egg                                                              1                  1
Fancy (mild) molasses                                           ½ cup           125 mL
All-purpose flour                                                    2 ½ cups      625 mL
Baking soda                                                           2 tsp.           10 mL
Ground ginger                                                        2 tsp.           10 mL
Ground cinnamon                                                   1 tsp.           5 mL
Salt                                                                       ½ tsp.          2 mL

Granulated sugar, approximately                            ¼ cup          60 mL

Cream margarine and first amount of sugar in large bowl.  Add egg.  Beat well.  Add molasses. Beat until smooth.

Combine next 5 ingredients in medium bowl.  Add to margarine mixture in 2 additions, mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains.  Roll into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls.

Roll each ball in second amount of sugar in small bowl until coated.  Arrange about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on greased cookie sheets or ones lined with parchment paper.  Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven for about 10 minutes until just firm. Let stand on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 7 ½ dozen (90) cookies.

1 cookie: 45 Calories; 1.7 g Total Fat (1.1 g Mono, 0.2 g Poly, 0.4 g Sat); 2 mg Cholesterol; 7 g Carbohydrate; trace Fibre; 0 g Protein; 62 mg Sodium

Thank you for coming back to my island after the hiatus!  I hope you will take time to have a cookie-baking date with someone you love and raise a cup of coffee to your own loved ones during the Christmas season.  See you again soon!

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