Friday, December 12, 2008

Ginger Molasses Cookies

This year, I started baking cookies for the holidays. I have never attempted home gifts and neither have I attempted so many cookies in one day.

Today I made a total of 120 ginger Molasses cookies for a cookie swap this coming Sunday. The hostess is a very recent friend I got to know when I first sent Missy E to her school. We hit out on the right note and have been sharing tales of classrooms and our kids and thanks to her, I am learning to be the real American mom. And with this cookie swap that she is hosting, I am put to the test and experience on how Martha Stewart does things! Mind you, we both are fans of the Domestic guru!

This is the exact cookie that I made for my Gingerbread People cookies in my other blog. The only thing is that I reduced the amount of sugar and prepared the dough a week ago and let it sit in the freezer wrapped with freezer paper. I prepared the recipe in 3 batches as I am very skeptical on trying to increase the ingredients, fearing that the wrong measurements will not yield any cookies eventually.

The cookie dough turned very sticky and mushy when they were ready for rolling. I am unsure of why is this and can only continue to sprinkle flour and knead the dough till the consistency is firmer for rolling and cutting. For the dough, I omitted the ginger totally as some people don't really like the gingery aroma but I added more nutmeg instead. The molasses is the main flavor of this cookie and the addition of salt to the flour brought out the sweetness of the brown sugar.

As I had only 3 baking pans, I made 12 cookies in each pan as to keep tab on the numbers that I have made. The cookies were baked in a preheated oven of 325F for 12 to 15 mins, with 1 rotation of the pan every 10 mins to get even baking. It really made a difference and the cookies must still be soft in the middle and firm by the sides when they are to be taken out. When cooled completely, the cookies firmed up with a sandy appearance, a little crunch on the outside and slightly grainy in the inside. I am pleased that the cookies are not too sweet and I don't feel overwhelmed with sugar after eating one.

Packaging the cookies into 7 bags of a dozen each took me almost an hour. I used cuttings of brown paper bag to line each cookie and stacked them together into the usual baggies that we all have in the kitchen. Attached a laminated copy of the recipe and they are ready to go. Cookies must be made nearing the time of eating to get the real fresh homemade taste and hence same with those that are made for gifts. It is a hectic X'mas for me this year but I also enjoy the baking and giving. It really means more coming from your own kitchen!

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