I’m three and a half weeks into the Whole Life Challenge now (I know, I never shut up about it) and, despite the seemingly never-ending birthday temptations, haven’t been doing too badly. This past long weekend, however, (happy belated Thanksgiving, eh) I was in Edmonton and Red Deer with my boyfriend to meet some of his family and childhood friends, and I didn’t want to seem like the crazy new girlfriend from the city who only eats raw, organic, vegan, grass-fed, no hormone, sugar-free shots of wheatgrass. I also wanted to be a proper guest who brings a hostess gift: in this case, homemade cookies.
Baking gingersnaps is one of my favourite parts of fall, and I will take advantage of far lesser excuses than a family visit to make them.
(Past excuses have included needing to rid the house of the smell of burnt popcorn, trying to distract myself from the fact that I need a haircut, and being generally bored on a Tuesday night.)
They’re easier than gingerbread (I love cookie cutters but also let’s be serious I hate cookie cutters) and they give off that amazing pumpkin spice smell as they bake.
In my mind, they also make me seem like a very adult and responsible and slightly chic but not obnoxious guest.
The perfect cookie.
- 155 grams butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (1 tsp of vanilla extract would work here as well)
- 1 egg
- 85 grams molasses
- 285 grams bread flour
- 1/2 tbsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp white ground pepper
- dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla, egg, and molasses, and continue mixing until well combined.
- Sift in remaining ingredients, and stir until just combined.
- Prepare two large rectangles of plastic wrap (mine were about 18″ (45cm) long, which was probably overkill, but better safe than sorry). Scoop half the cookie dough onto each wrap, and then roll into cylinders about 2″ (5cm) thick. Try to square off the ends.
- Freeze for at least two hours, or up to a month.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line or grease a baking sheet (or two) and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap. Slice into cookies – I like mine “snappier,” so I cut mine about 1/4″ (0.5cm) thick.
- Place on the prepared sheet with about an inch between each cookie. I topped some of mine with coarse sugar, some with flaked sea salt, and left some bare.
- Bake for about 10 minutes (less for softer cookies, and more for crispier ones). These are best served the same day, but they’re still good after a couple days and keep well in the freezer.