JOY!

eat the gingerbread…

hold fast to the JOY!

The baked cookies are soft and the gingerbread spice combination is sharp and lingers after the last bite.  Delicious!

GINGERBREAD MEN

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1-1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 t ginger
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1/2 t cloves
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2 c (8 Tablespoons or 4 oz) European like butter (the best you can find)
  • 1  3/4 oz  Crisco
  • 5 oz  dark brown sugar
  • 7 1/2 fl oz  molasses
  • 1 egg
  • zest of one orange

Mixing:

  1. Sift together first eight dry ingredients into a bowl and sit aside
  2. Cream together room temperature butter, Crisco, and brown sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add molasses, egg, and orange zest to butter/sugar mixture.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients (mixer on very slow speed) to the above mixture and mix just until combined.
  5. Wrap dough in parchment and refrigerate overnight. (I froze the dough for week, then thawed in refrigerator overnight before rolling, cutting, and baking)
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  7. This dough is soft enough to roll just out of the refrigerator
  8. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick.  Cut* as desired; I refrigerated cookies after cutting for 30 minutes prior to baking
  9. Bake about 7 minutes for regular size cookies; bake 9 minutes for larger cookies
  10. Store in parchment lined covered tin

* my highest recommendation (my uncompensated opinion) for the 9 1/4 inch tall, 6 1/4 inch wide gingerbread man cookie cutter from CopperGifts.com

 

Mom’s Gingersnaps

mix the dough (and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight – if you have time- to blend the  flavors)

shape into balls and roll in sugar

just baked gingersnaps – I shared these with my family…..

all except the last 3…

Gingersnap Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup crisco shortening
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed to measure
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups (Martha White) self rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Mixing:

  1. Sift brown sugar over crisco.  Mix well with a wooden spoon or electric mixer
  2. Add egg to sugar/crisco mixture
  3. Add molasses to sugar/crisco/egg mixture
  4. Sift flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and stir until well combined
  6. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight
  7. The next day, remove dough from refrigerator about an hour prior to baking cookies
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  9. Use a #50 scoop and form balls of dough
  10. Roll cookie dough balls in granulated sugar to coat
  11. Place on parchment lined baking sheet (don’t flatten the round cookie dough balls)
  12. {Bake approximately 10 minutes, watching closely.}  After about 5 minutes baking, the cookies will puff.  After about 7-8 total minutes baking, the cookies should fall and crack
  13. Remove from oven between 8-10 minutes baking time.
  14. Cool on wire rack.  Store in covered container at room temperature

 

Mom’s cookbook notes dated August 10, 1945

I found this today

folded inside an old cookbook.

It’s written on lined notebook paper

with a #2 pencil.  I recognize my Mom’s handwriting.

She would have been 14 years old at the time this was written—

tune: Row Row Your Boat

  • Rows, Rows, Rows of jars
  • On the pantry shelf
  • They’ll keep us fit
  • They’ll do our bit
  • We can them all ourself
  • Can Can all you can
  • Can Can all you can
  • For the winter you must plan
  • You must be happy and sing
  • As you turn each ring
  • Be sure you screw each ring tight
  • So it will keep through the night
  • Fill each jar with car
  • For the fruit can easily bare
  • When winter is drawing near
  • You won’t have to worry when it gets here
  • You can eat and eat all you can
  • Then put away your pots and pans

(I’m not sure about a few of the words, but the point of the song is clear-can the fruit, etc. Prepare for winter….)

biscuits

Swans Down Cake Flour biscuits

I found some old cookbooks today

The recipe was marked with a #2 pencil ‘x,’ whatever that meant. I hope it meant ‘this is a keeper.’

Slathered with apple butter—the little biscuits were delicious

Swans Down Cake Flour Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 120 grams Swans Down Cake flour (1c.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 30 grams frozen crisco (2 1/2 T)
  • 1/4 c sweet milk

Mixing:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl
  2. Cut in crisco with pastry blender
  3. Add sweet milk and stir with fork; continue to stir until dough forms ball and clears side of bowl
  4. Gently form into 1/2″ thick round; cut with biscuit cutters
  5. Bake on ungreased iron skillet 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees

DON’T discard your slightly used whole spices

 

To make chai tea concentrate (a recipe for another day), I steep

  • orange zest
  • fresh ginger
  • Ceylon cinnamon sticks
  • whole star anise
  • whole cloves
  • whole cardamon pods
  • whole black peppercorns
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • loose black tea with orange

-after straining the liquid concentrate, I allow the spices to dry for a couple of weeks in open air, spread across a plate

-then, simply crush the larger spices and grind in small coffee grinder

The dust/powder seeps out the side of the grinder, and the aroma when the grinder lid is removed is ‘breath…taking’.  (1st press)

I sifted the larger remains from the grinder (2nd press)

-and, Don’t discard the parchment paper used to gather the ground spices; the spice oils and dust left behind will be perfect to wrap gingerbread cookie dough!

endless uses for those fall-feeling recipes

recycled Penzey’s (my favorite spices) jars

inspired by JGW, who ‘repurposes’ everything

recycle/repurpose/reuse/….feel good….

Note:

Ceylon cinnamon, using only the thin inner bark, has a finer, less dense, and more crumbly texture, and is considered to be more aromatic and more subtle in flavour than cassia. Cassia has a much stronger (somewhat harsher) flavour than Ceylon cinnamon, is generally a medium to light reddish brown, hard and woody in texture, and thicker (2–3 mm (0.079–0.12 in) thick), as all of the layers of bark are used

Ceylon cinnamon sticks (or quills) have many thin layers and can easily be made into powder using a coffee or spice grinder, whereas cassia sticks are much harder.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon)