Gingerbread cookies are Santa's favorite cookies. And mine, too. I never seem to remember how much I love them until this time of year rolls around and I get a craving for them... something about the spicy bite of cloves and ginger, the sweetness of the cinnamon and the bitterness of the molasses is what does me in completely.
Sometimes inspiration hits at odd moments. I was craving gingersnaps at 10 pm, so that's when I made them. Fortunately, this recipe is very quick and easy; I was putting the second batch of cookies in the oven at the same time that I was polishing off the first batch. Then I realized that snacking on gingersnaps is not like snacking on popcorn, and perhaps I should not have six of them at a time.
3/4 cup butter (room temp)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Garnish: 1 cup white sugar
...aaaaand Santa's little helper. :)
In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown/white sugars together until light and fluffy. Since Tanner likes using power tools, I gave him our hand mixer and told him to have at it.
Once creamy, slowly add in the egg, vanilla, and molasses.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix.
Chill the mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out small balls of cookie dough and roll in white sugar to coat. Place cookies on cookie sheet and flatten with your hand or the bottom of a jar. (I like imperfect cookies, so mine weren't very symmetrical.)
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until dry and firm on top. The longer they bake, the crisper the gingersnap will be. I have an overly manic oven and a taste for soft-centered cookies, so I only baked mine for 11 minutes. Warm, spicy goodness.
Tanner kept trying to sneak cookies when I wasn't looking, so I made him stand still to take some photos. This didn't go over very well. In fact, the conversation went something like this:
Me: "Ok, take a step back. A little further. Now hold the cookie out into the light. More to the left. No, don't eat the cookie. More to the left. A little more. Ok, hold it right there... no, you can't eat the cookie. Tanner. Leave the cookie alone. You're supposed to hold it still so I can take a picture. Don't eat the cookie! TANNER, STOP EATING THE COOKIE."