Monday, April 28, 2014

Ginger Molasses Cookies

I know there have been long stretches between posts lately.  My goal is to post several new things and catch up over summer break.  I have a long to-do list before school starts next year.  But I am pretty determined this summer because things are changing this year.  I am not sure exactly how things will be yet, but changes are happening.  For now, here is a new recipe.  This has been a lifesaver for us.  L has had more troubles again.  She has had more break outs on her skin this year along with chronic sinus and ear infections.  This on top of the tummy issues from before which we still believe is from food.  Those issues always improved with diet changes but never completely went away.  She seems to have become more sensitive and reactive lately.  We have scheduled some allergy tests to start at the end of the month.  Now that she is almost four years old, the doctors can actually see the problems she is having.  Now they believe what I have been telling them since she was six weeks old.  So now, we are finally getting some support by a few doctors.  Hopefully, we will be getting some real answers soon.  For now, we do what we can and these cookies have helped.  If she eats these cookies, they seem to help settle her stomach when she is having trouble eating and digesting.  I don't know the source of the original recipe but the original recipe has been changed a lot to suit our needs.

1/2 cup grapeseed oil *
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  (The original recipe indicates using a mixer but I do all of this recipe by hand.)  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Beat in the egg until fully incorporated.  Then add the molasses and stir until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Stir dry ingredients into the wet and stir just until incorporated.  At this point, the dough gets very thick.  When everything is mostly together, I use my hands to finish mixing the dough.  Portion the dough into three pieces and roll each into approximately one inch logs.  (Beware:  If you have men or children in the house, you will get poop jokes here.  You will see what I mean in the pictures.  Trust me, it smells much better.  Ha!)  Wrap and chill for at least one hour.  These will be okay in the fridge up to overnight but I wouldn't leave them more than 24 hours without getting them finished.  However, the dough does do well in the freezer.  If you can't finish them or if you want to make an extra large batch and freeze some for next time, go for it!  Just put the dough in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  On a floured work surface using a floured rolling pin, roll chilled dough out to desired thickness.  This is where you have options.  If you want a crunch ginger snap, roll the dough thin.  If you want a nice, soft molasses cookie, roll the dough thicker.  Use a small round cookie cutter to cut out cookies.  Don't forget to dip the cutter into a little flour too.  Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about an inch apart.  Bake for approximately 5-10 minutes.  Again, the time is changing factor.  In my moms oven, ten minutes is perfect.  In my oven, ten minutes is too much.  In my oven, five minutes is perfect for soft molasses cookies and eight minutes is perfect for crunchier ginger snaps.  If you want the crunchier cookies, go ahead and cook them close to the ten minutes.  If you want softer cookies, take them out early.  They will cook some after you take them out of the oven.

*The original recipe used softened butter.  If you are not dairy free, you could use butter.  You could also use a different kind of oil.  We prefer grapeseed oil because it is nearly tasteless.  Coconut and olive oils are good in many baked goods but are stronger tastes so they don't go with all foods.  Feel free to experiment.

And now for the pics:

 Finished Cookies:

Logs of dough, wrapped and ready to chill:
(now you can see what I mean by poop jokes)

Three of the batches went into the freezer:

I know I have mentioned this before, but I am going to mention it again.  If you haven't purchased one of these food savers and you want to do freezer cooking, once a month cooking, meal planning, etc., you should definitely spend the money.  It is worth it.: