Gingersnap Cookies

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Do you have one? Or even better than that, what’s your favorite Christmas memory or tradition? My favorite tradition is our family’s annual cookie baking day that’s always the week after Thanksgiving at my Grandma’s house. It’s also where I have a lot of really fond Christmas memories. We started this tradition 15+ years ago and in the beginning it was just the two of us baking more cookies than anyone would know what to do with in a day. Luckily, Grandpa was there to supervise and also take us out to dinner in the afternoon when there literally wasn’t a place to set a plate of food because the counters and table were filled with cookies! We’ve cut back a little since then and recruited some help…we’ve gotten wiser over the years 😉 I also took over making the gingerbread cut-outs and now bake those a couple days after Thanksgiving to bring along the following weekend. These gingersnaps have always been part of actual cookie day though and still are now. We mix up the dough the day before and keep it chilled in the fridge for the next day (only do this with cookie dough that does not have butter; if it has butter it will be hard as a rock the next day!) so then you just have to roll the dough into balls and coat with sugar before baking.

 

I love this handwritten recipe for the gingersnaps too. I don’t really have anything I collect…like the glass turtles my sister in law looks for on trips, the teapots my mother in law had lined up in her pantry or the snowglobes Hailey loves to have from each new state visited…but I do like to collect items passed down from family members and old recipes are some of my favorite things. I’m trying to decide how to preserve this one that’s even smaller than a 4×6 photo so finding a frame is slightly challenging. Of course it’d be unfair to say I’ve spent much time searching 😉 We’ll say that’s because I’ve been too busy baking cookies. Sounds good, right?

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If you don’t have one already, I’m going to continue to encourage you to invest in a KitchenAid stand mixer! It makes mixing up cookie dough such a breeze and if you have that and a cookie scoop like that blurry one pictured above you’re going to be all set for making gingersnaps with minimal effort! You simply cream all of the wet ingredients together in the mixer, stir the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixer as well until everything is well combined and ready to chill! Then you use your handy cookie scoop to roll the perfect size ball of dough, toss it around in some extra sugar and bake for ten minutes! Easy. Peasy. The recipe also makes quite a few gingersnaps so if you’re attending any cookie exchanges this season it’s perfect for that!

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A few things to keep in mind before you start gathering your ingredients in the kitchen…

• If you’re making a couple batches and have chilled the dough before baking, be sure to keep the dough for the second batch in the fridge while you’re rolling out and baking the first batch. If the dough sits out and warms up, the cookies don’t seem to rise as well.

• For consistency, use a small cookie scoop to form your dough balls. It makes them the perfect size!

• Watch the cookies closely in the oven! They’ll bake for 10 minutes, but it’s always a good idea to start checking them a minute early to avoid over baking!

• Gingersnap cookies freeze exceptionally well! We store them in Ziploc bags in the freezer. Just be sure to squeeze the air out of the bags and close completely with the press & seal or zipper.

Nine days until Christmas! Well, if you’re reading this today anyway! Time isn’t slowing down so might I suggest you look for things that can be removed from the to do list over the next week so you can replace those lines with ‘enjoy the season’? I think as adults we tend to forget to still have fun this time of year, because we’re spending all of our time “getting ready for the holiday”. Watch the movies, drink the hot cocoa, take a stroll in the snow, dine at festive restaurants, see a show at the theater and be merry! And on that note, happy baking 🙂

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Gingersnap Cookies

The perfect sugar coated cookies for your holiday!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup crisco shortening
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • sugar for coating

Instructions

  1. Combine the shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg in a stand mixer and cream together to mix well.

  2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Gradually add this mixture to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer until all ingredients are well combined and dough has formed.

  3. Using a cookie scoop, form dough into small balls and roll in sugar to coat. Add to a baking sheet (a dozen or so at a time) and bake in a preheated oven (at 350 F) for 10 minutes. Watch closely and remove from oven when cookies begin to crack and look almost done.

  4. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Have a beautiful day!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Drop Cookies with Maple Buttercream Icing

Pumpkin drop cookies round two…

See, the first time I baked these delicious cookies I nearly made mini pies instead by tossing in the entire can of pumpkin puree. Have you ever come across a cookie recipe that calls for an entire can of pumpkin? Me either. Sometimes I do things without really thinking them through. Guilty! The good thing in this case is the “cookies” were still delicious. They simply didn’t have that perfect drop cookie texture and truly tasted like mini pumpkin pies. Not a loss at all, but I had to bake them again this past weekend out of respect to the drop cookie and the extra time was completely worth it.

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Why hello perfectly crumbly and unbelievably soft pumpkin treat. These are total melt in your mouth cookies. I had similar ones at a friend’s traveling boutique party a few weeks ago and kind of knew at that point I needed to bake some for us once we got further into fall. I had to act fast too, because we had about two nice weeks of fall and now it’s apparently winter. It’s a brisk 32 degrees outside right now with snow falling from the sky, potentially 1-3 inches overnight! If only snow days were still a thing… 🙂

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Back to that traveling boutique real quick…I won’t leave you hanging, or maybe you’re already familiar with these! It was the first event I attended at a friend of a friend’s home and what a clever idea! This particular shop is called Middle Sister Boutique and the owner has a large RV type vehicle that she’s transformed into a clothing and accessory boutique inside. So you have friends/family over to your home, serve some drinks and appetizers and they can shop in the pop up boutique right in your driveway! Pretty fun!

And parties are always a good place to find new favorite recipes 😉

These cookies only require one bowl to mix up, but the order in which the ingredients are mixed is important! I highly recommend always following that instruction in a recipe, because there really is a reason behind the order. For pumpkin drop cookies, you start by combining the softened butter, brown sugar and cane sugar using a hand mixer. Then you add

  • the egg

and mix again until that’s well combined. followed by the…

  • pumpkin puree

mixing until well combined again, of course. and then the…

  • allspice
  • cloves (unless you’re like my Mom & despise cloves. then you may leave them out!)
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt

Finally, you mix all those ingredients and then top it off with the flour. Oh…and be sure to mix well just once more 🙂 The photo below is from the time I had too much pumpkin since I forgot to retake this photo over the weekend. The dough doesn’t really look that different though!

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My one and only pet peeve with drop cookies is placing them on the parchment paper to bake. It’s a tedious task for those who like cookies to be closer to the perfect side! This is a really doughy dough, to be technical, so it’s a little tricky to work with at this point. I used a small spoon for each dollop and then an icing spatula to attempt to smooth the edges. I didn’t go too crazy, because if I tried to really get them perfectly smooth I might still be in the kitchen!

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These cookies will rise and spread a bit so be sure to leave enough room between each one. Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes and then move them to a baking rack to cool. Part two is making the icing, the simplest task if you have a stand mixer! The biggest tip here is to make sure your butter is well softened! If needed, place the stick of butter in the microwave for a few seconds to achieve this so it gets perfectly light and fluffy while mixing. Then you just add in the maple syrup and vanilla and once that’s all combined gradually finish it off with powdered sugar and a little bit of milk.

Now just get that icing spatula back out to ice each cookie and sprinkle with cinnamon – optional, but highly recommended! The best part about using buttercream icing over the typical cream cheese paired with pumpkin is these can be left in an airtight container on the counter or in the pantry for a couple days. If they last beyond that, I’d suggest storing in the fridge/freezer.

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Lucky for us, my Grandma still insists on hosting Thanksgiving and cooks the most delicious dinner every year! So the least we can do is arrive with dessert to add to the table. Last year it was a purple sweet potato pie with spiced whipped cream (seriously, give it a try…so good!) and this year it’s going to be a batch of these cookies! I can easily make them that morning since they’re quick to whip up and there’s little better than fresh from the oven homemade cookies.

Pumpkin Drop Cookies with Maple Buttercream Icing

Perfectly soft pumpkin cookies for all your fall get togethers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree I use Libby's
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp 2% milk

Instructions

  1. First things first. Take the butter out of the fridge for the cookies and icing ahead of time so it has an opportunity to soften. Otherwise, place stick of butter in the microwave for around 20 seconds to soften.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and cane sugar together using a hand mixer. Once well combined, add in the egg and mix again.

  4. Add pumpkin puree and mix until that's well combined with the above ingredients. Add in nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

  5. Gradually add in flour and mix until all ingredients are combined.

  6. Use a small spoon to scoop dollops of cookie dough onto each baking sheet for baking. If desired, using an icing spatula to further shape and smooth the cookies.

  7. Bake one batch of cookies at a time for 12 minutes. Take the first batch of cookies out of the oven and move them to a baking rack to cool. Repeat with the second baking sheet of cookies.

  8. While the cookies cool, make the butter cream icing. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add maple syrup and vanilla while still mixing on low speed.

  9. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until well combined. While still mixing, add the milk and mix for another minute to reach a good icing consistency.

  10. Spread icing on each cookie and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Allow the icing to set before transferring the cookies to an airtight container to store for 2 to 4 days. Cookies may also be frozen for 3 months.

Recipe Notes

*Recipe ever so slightly modified from alattefood.com

Have a beautiful day!

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