Tasty Tuesday – Holiday Baking
Welcome to this year’s Tasty Tuesday – Holiday Baking Edition, Round 1. If you haven’t already noticed, it’s not Tuesday. That’s because for the next several weeks, my Tasty Tuesdays are going to focus on Holiday Baking, and well, they’ll get posted whenever I get my baking done each week. I’m still going to call them by that name, though, for the sake of keeping the posts organized.
So, I’ll say it again – Yes, there will be a “Tasty Tuesday” each week… but, it may not always be posted on Tuesday. Got it? Good.
This is what I spent all of Sunday afternoon and evening (and again today!) doing –
To the far left is something you may remember me posting about last year – Swedish Cardamom coffee cake. Contrary to its name, it is not really a cake, rather a soft, airy, and slightly spiced yeast-bread with pearl sugar on top. It is mildly sweet and pairs beautifully with a cup of coffee. Mmmmmm….. cardamom.
In the middle is pumpkin bread. I found a can of Libby’s plain pumpkin at Tops this past July (as part of a “Taste of America” promotion they had going on), and seeing as I’d never seen it before in Thailand, I knew I needed to snatch it up right then and there. I had been holding onto it tightly, pondering just what to make with the pumpkiny goodness for months now, and I finally landed on my favorite pumpkin bread recipe – complete with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and real pecans sent from home! Needless to say, it didn’t last long. Want the recipe? Here’s where I got it from about 7 years ago – click me! The only thing I did different was add a tiny bit of vanilla, and pecans instead of walnuts, because that’s what I had. Mmmmmmmm.
But, what is it that I’m going to share the recipe with you for today? The cookies on the right – my mom’s chewy, delicious, wonderful gingersnaps. You see, the reason I did all this baking before Christmas was because the organization we work with here in Thailand had their annual Christmas party on Monday. Of course, there was a coffee break amidst the events, and surely a coffee break needs treats to go with the coffee. Within 15 minutes, 35 adults and a group of kids devoured the entire platter (more than 100 cookies), both loaves of pumpkin bread, and all but about 1/3 of one Cardamom loaf (which was later finished off with lunch!). The cookies, however, were finished well before the 15 minute break was up… and for good reason. They’re just plain yummy.
So, before I give you the recipe, all honor must go to my wonderful mother for making these every year of my growing up and always letting me help in the kitchen – seriously, what better way is there to learn? Thanks, Mom – and all of the missionaries here in Bangkok thank you, too. 🙂
Mom’s Chewy Gingersnaps
- 1 1/2 C margarine or unsalted butter
- 2 C sugar
- 1/4 C dark molasses **
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 – 1 tsp ground cloves (depends on how much spice you want)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp ground ginger (depends on how much spice you want)
- 4 C flour
- Cream together butter and sugar until well-blended and fluffy.
- Add molasses and eggs, then beat until incorporated.
- Add in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, beating again just until incorporated.
- Add flour, and mix until you have a uniform dough.
- If dough is too soft to easily form into smooth balls, chill in refrigerator until firm (here in Thailand this is a must, and I leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours).
- Using about 1 Tablespoon of dough each, form balls and roll completely in granulated sugar.
- Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (they will spread, but not a ton).
- Bake at 350F for about 10 min. When finished, remove to racks and cool completely.
** Handy tip for measuring molasses – before pouring molasses into your measuring cup, give the inside of the cup a quick spritz with cooking spray. This will keep the molasses from sticking, needing to be scraped out, and inevitably wasting a small bit of the dark, gooey goodness. This trick also works when measuring honey, as well. Try it, and watch the stuff just roll right out of the cup!
Now, I must warn you – this recipe makes several dozen cookies (I always forget to count just how many), so be ready to either feed a lot of people, make a bunch of plates to give away, or get a belly ache from eating too many yourself! Now go, bake, eat, and be happy!