Ginger Snappy

These are a little late for the holiday season but still super tasty. The recipe is taken from Alice Water’s classic The Art of Simple FoodImage

 

So I’m still working out this molasses thing.  Things I know: It is brown. It is sweet. It moves slow in the winter time. It is in ginger snaps. What I still can’t figure out it what else it is used for AND you don’t even use that much! But mostly it makes really yummy cookies. Image

 

Ginger Snaps
Makes 40-50 cookies

From The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution (Clarkson Potter) by Alice Waters.

These cookies get crisp when cool and are great holiday cookies. I like them coated with lots of crystals of coarse sugar, which is called Hawaiian washed sugar in the US, or cassonade here in France. (Coarse sugar is also availableonline.) ¼-½ teaspoon ground cardamom, cloves, nutmeg or allspice to suit your taste.

I added a dash of ground cardamom, cloves, nutmeg or allspice to spice it up!

2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
11 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mild-flavored molasses
1 large egg, at room temperature

my optional step: coarse sugar crystals for coating the cookies

1. Stir together the dry ingredients.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter just until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until smooth, stopping the mixer to scrape down any butter clinging to the sides of the bowl.

3. Stir in the vanilla, molasses and egg.

4. Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.

5. Divide the dough in two equal portions and roll each on a lightly-floured surface until each is about 2-inches around. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect; you can neaten them up in a second.

6. Wrap each in plastic wrap then roll them lightly on the counter to smooth them out. Refrigerate, or better yet, freeze the cookie logs until firm.

7. To bake, preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

8. Slice cookie dough into 1/4-inch (the thinner the snappier) rounds with a sharp knife. Dip one side and press firmly in a bowl of coarse sugar if you want (you can also use granulated sugar instead), and place sugar-side up on baking sheet, evenly-spaced apart. Leave a couple of inches, between cookies since they’ll spread while baking.

9. Bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until deep-golden brown. The cookies will puff up a bit while baking, then settle down when they’re done. Bake on the lower end of the range for softer cookies, and more for snappier ones, depending on your oven.

10. Let the cookies cool two minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.

Storage: The dough can be refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months. Once baked, the cookies can be kept in an air-tight container for a couple of days but like anything made with butter, of course they’re best the day they’re baked.

Compost Problem

When moving into our new house I wanted a compost pile! One of my more crunchy roommates was on board so we stared saving scraps. As she told me yesterday, she knew nothing and I had all the knowledge.

This turned into a problem because all the information I got was from my crunchy sister who had one but really wasn’t on top of it. I knew no dairy or meat products. That was pretty much it.

Sooo… we have this:

and it’s hot like its supposed to be but purposefully rotting food confuses me.

Things I have learned today:

  1. You cook compost
  2. It’s debatable if you can add material after you start “cooking”
  3. You are supposed to have lawn clippings. (Can I buy these somewhere? I haven’t mowed our dirt patch in the backyard…)
  4. You set it up then cover it with manure (Isn’t that fertilizer? Is this like Amish Friendship Bread where you need some to make more??)
  5. People like using worms. (I don’t like this, you need more equipment too)
  6. If you put your pile on the ground, worms get in your pile on their own!
  7. UPDATE Crunchy roommate says the woman at the farmer’s market laughed at our plan and this all could be much more complex than originally planned.