I have a goal. The rush I got from making the melting moments was so amazing that I feel like I've gotten a new purpose in life. The cooking spark has been reignited. I will now endeavour to cook/bake at least one new thing every Wednesday (my day off). Rather than slothing around in bed watching TV shows end to end (I finished season 5 of Mad Men in one and a half days, having exhausted seasons 1 to 4 of True Blood the previous week), this forces me to get up and be productive. My other day off goal is painting so I figured if I do a bit of cooking and painting and a bit of cleaning, I can feel good about the way I spend my time rather than guilt over my body going into atrophy.
I actually baked these cookies the same day as the melting moments, in this big whirlwind cooking frenzy where I had a production line of cookie sheets going and out and the stand mixer barely got time to dry after being washed before having to be used again. It was great fun! I can't wait to do the same next week; in fact, I've got a list of recipes under contention.
Back to the ginger cookies. These are interesting because they're not something I would normally bake. As a child, I hated anything ginger-flavored. Now, my taste buds have evolved or rearranged or whatever... and many things that I used to hate really appeal to me now. Despite that, my brain hasn't caught up yet, so when I think 'ginger cookies', I automatically think 'uck' before trying it and realizing I like it.
Gingerbread was a specific request from Marc. Prior to that, I had associated it with old people and... I don't know, American kids and Christmas trees. Don't ask. Anyway, I Googled for a suitable recipe. I didn't think these were 'technically' classed as gingerbread but Wiki just told me that gingerbread can be anything sweet with a ginger flavor, including loaves, biscuits and cookies. So I guess I filled the brief!
The recipe I used was from Allrecipes.com and I went with this one because it's got over 3000 reviews and sitting at 4.5 stars. I tried to follow the recipe almost exactly but I didn't have molasses so I used golden syrup instead. I believe that molasses gives it a deeper, richer flavor but I just couldn't find it. I also used all-spice instead of ground cloves and butter instead of margarine.
Big, Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies
- 2 and 1/4 cups plain flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves (I used all-spice)
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (185g) margarine, softened (I used butter; I think butter is always better for these things)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup molasses (I used golden syrup)
- 2 tbsp white sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
7. Place the balls onto the trays about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with a fork or the back of a spoon.
These cookies were so easy to make. Despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of ginger, these were fairly mild (they can be spiced up with the addition of chopped candied ginger) and I really liked the soft, chewy texture.
The cookies are extra soft fresh out of the oven and they firm up a bit as they cool down. Rest assured though, they stay nice and chewy. Marc said they were good, but he has no other choic. My workmates devoured a whole bunch when I served them up so that was a fair amount of less-biased reassurance.