Wednesday, November 11, 2009

digging up gingerbread

Every fall, I clean out the hall closet and usually end up finding some sweaters and hats and old bags that I drag out to use in the coming months. It's like discovering some old acquaintances that I got sick of last spring, but after a long hiatus, once again appear friendly. That's how I feel about gingerbread; it only seems appropriate to bake it in the fall and winter, digging the recipe out of my book like an old friend. Gingerbread, for me, signifies fall, the holiday season, cool air and wood stoves. Enjoy, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Some things are so worth the wait.

I got this recipe from one of my favorite bakeries. I love it so much, I drove two hours to buy bread there. And ate (with help) almost a whole loaf by the time I got home.

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup light molasses
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, add the butter (in small pieces) and sugar, and cream the two together (mix on medium-high) for about four minutes. Add eggs one at a time and stir in between each addition. Add the vanilla, stir, and add the molasses. Mix the wet ingredients well before adding the dry ingredients in four stages. When the dough is evenly mixed, place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill before baking. After chilling, divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into an eight-inch log. At this point you can begin slicing off the log to create the cookies, or wrap in plastic wrap, freeze, and save for a later baking. Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes. The thinner the slices, the crispier the cookies.