Monday, November 20, 2006

Slow as Molasses

Slowly but surely, I'm making headway on my holiday baking plans. I'm going to try to bake a batch of cookies each night this week, but we'll see how that goes with last-minute plans.

(I hear you now: why am I starting my holiday baking frenzy so soon? The answer is quite simple: I deliver or send most of my baked goodies well before mid-December due to the semester schedule and the need to ship Christmas boxes early... and often, some might add.)

Tonight's selection is one of my favorite cold-weather treats: ginger-molasses cookies. Without the crispness of gingersnaps but with all the spicy sweet flavor, these cookies make a dream pairing with a cup of spiced tea or hot cider.

They're easy to make, too, with good local unsalted butter creamed with sugar, molasses, a dash of local maple syrup (courtesy of the fair Titania), and a local free-range egg, then mixed with local whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and lots of good spices. You roll the dough into balls and coat them with granulated sugar (or in this case, organic cane juice crystals) and set them on a cookie sheet to bake.

Despite my inclination to curl up into a similar ball and rest last evening, I had to keep that cookie assembly line going for three trays' worth of succulent ginger goodness. Was it worth the effort?

I know you can't smell or taste these beauties, but I can assure you, they're good. They're REAL good. Even after cooling off, they still melt in the mouth and deliver a warm, dark, spicy burst of happiness.

The only trouble is... I'm definitely going to have to bake another batch, because 4 and a half dozen cookies isn't going to go very far, given my list of lucky cookie recipients (which is now up to at least a dozen students, a dozen or so local folks, and 10-12 boxes to be sent to faraway friends), not to mention the cookies I'm sure I'll nibble on until the boxes are packed.

Slowly but surely... I'll make my way back into the kitchen for more!


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