Chewy Ginger Cookies – one of my favorites during the holidays.

Unlike my Christmas cards, making cookies seems to be a perennial obsession. It doesn’t matter the season, nor the time of day —– cookies are an eternal addiction. I have to have one. Homemade are my preference, but when I’m out and about, a certain “Cookie Corner” store has the goods I need for a midday pick-me-up. During the holiday season however, my fetish for cookies peaks to new levels. My usual collection of baked goods I giveaway includes Russian Tea Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies, Calypso Cups, and Chocolate Krinkle Cookies.

These Chewy Ginger Cookies have always been a favorite of mine, and once I found this recipe, my Christmas cookie repertoire was complete. In case you’re wondering, you can find the original recipe here at Taste of Home, submitted by Bernice Smith. Thank you Bernice!

Unlike most recipes, instead of butter, we move up to the next level of fats which would be shortening. I don’t deal too much with shortening, except when it comes to certain cookie recipes. If you’re not a fan of shortening, hear me out. Don’t turn your nose up at shortening, it is needed for this type of cookie. Using butter will not be the same.

Cream together the shortening and sugar. You will be tempted to lick this mixture. You can, but it will have a somewhat greasier feeling to it. However, if you’re into tasting all things greasy, I won’t judge.

Next, you’re going to throw in more wet ingredients into this lard-fest. Molasses, vanilla, and egg will be joining this party. Turn on your mixer until everything has mixed well. Set that aside and move onto your dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, you’re going to combine a trio of spices, along with the usual flour, salt and baking soda. Ginger, cloves and cinnamon add to these cookies unique flavor. Those three spices are the essence of Christmas. Forget candles. Just bake these babies and your house will be wafting in Christmas smells.

For that reason alone, these must be Santa’s favorite. I just know it.

Mix them well. We don’t want one cookie tasting like cinnamon and the other like cloves. That would make for injustice to this recipe, and possibly lead to a ban by the Christmas Cookie Federation from ever baking a single Christmas cookie again.

I shutter to think.

Moving on.

Add your dry ingredients to your molasses mixture. Some recipes tell you to add your dry ingredient a little a time, mixing it well before adding more, but this one doesn’t. Just dump the whole thing in and turn on your mixer.

After mixing, this is what your dough will look like. It’s ready to scoop out.

So here’s your game plan. It’s a simple one. Just scoop, roll, and set. Scoop out your dough into about 1 inch balls. Next, roll it in some granulated sugar. Then set it on your baking pan.

Just in case you need a close up of the “roll” portion of the plan, here it is.

And here’s the “set”. Once you have all your dough on the pan, bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. These are one of those cookies that can be tricky to tell if they are done or not. Trust that they only need to bake for 10 minutes. They will be cooked. Any longer, and you’ll have to change the name of these cookies to Crispy Ginger Cookies. Seeing as I am person of equal rights, and if “crispy” floats your boat, then go ahead and leave those cookies in for an extra minute or two.

Don’t they look yummy. They smell so christmasy.

Next year,  you can bake these and set them out for Santa. It may get you something extra come Christmas morning.

If not, it will get you extra love from family and friends. Merry Christmas!!

 

CHEWY GINGER COOKIES

Difficulty: Easy                  Prep Time: 15 minutes                   Cook Time: 10 minutes                 Makes: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup shortening                               1 cup sugar

1 egg                                                        1/4 cup molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract                              2 cups flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon                       1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking soda                                 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Grab your large mixing bowl, cream your shortening and sugar first. Once that’s done, add in your egg, molasses, and vanilla. Combine all those together. Set that bowl aside and grab another bowl. In that “other” bowl, mix together your flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt and cloves. Then add your dry ingredients to your molasses mixture. Turn your kitchen-aid on and mix until well combined. Scoop out your dough into 1 inch balls, roll each ball in some extra sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. As with all cookies, do not grease the cookie sheet. Turn your oven on to 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes for some chewy goodness.

Eat one, or two, or three. No more than three though. Pack the rest up and give them away. Your friends and family will thank you, and so will your waistline. Right now, my waistline is not talking to me. It’s mad at me because I ate more than three.

 

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite things to eat in the whole wide world. When they are hot out of the oven, gooey, I’ve left the world and gone to heaven. Put a tall glass of milk next to it that I can dip it in, and you’ve taken me to another dimension. I love to explore any variation of this baked masterpiece. A friend of mine brought cookies and it had cranberries in it. Cranberries. Who’d a thunk it.

Let’s begin. Grab your basics for chocolate chip cookies.

Combine and cream.

If you’re like me, you could probably make this in your sleep. Throw the eggs and vanilla in your creamed mixture.

Cream that. This will come out extra creamy.

You’re gonna want to mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. I’ve done something different. Normally, I take my quick oats and blend them into a fine powder in the blender. My problem was, my blender had  had enough and went on strike. I seem to have that problem more often than not. So I grabbed my bag of steel cut oats and used that instead.

Mix them well.

Add your dry ingredients to your non-dry ingredients.

After the dry ingredients are combined, it’s time to make your cookie dough happy. The chocolate chips are for happiness and the cranberries are for bliss.

Mix that well. We do a lot of mixing in this recipe. Just don’t get mixed up yourself. We need you to stay focused.

Scoop out your cookie dough.

Space out your cookies well. They need room to grow. Bake in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Any longer, and they will be overcooked. Any shorter and they’ll be undercooked. I’m so glad we had this talk.

These bad boys are really good. One thing I learned about using the steel cut oats. They make these cookies, a type of “diet” cookie. You eat one and you are full for a good two hours. They are seriously filling. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad.

Quick! Go get a glass of milk. Next to oreos, chocolate chip cookies are milk’s favorite cookie. Having the cranberries in them is just an added bonus for the milk. And for you as well. Happy dipping!

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP CRANBERRY COOKIES

Difficulty: Easy                                           Prep Time: 15 minutes                                 Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings:  3 dozen

Ingredients

1 cup butter                                                                          1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla                                                                         2 eggs

2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal or steel cut oats (blend into a fine powder)

1/2 tsp salt                                                            2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder                                          1 tsp baking soda

12 oz chocolate chip cookies                        1 cup dried cranberries

So I tried to list the ingredients according to what needs to be done. With that said, take your first three ingredients: the butter and two sugars and cream together. Add your eggs and vanilla to the mix and cream some more. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients together and then add to your creamed mixture, and continue to mix some more. Once everything is combined throw in your happy ingredients: chocolate chips and cranberries. Once you’ve incorporated those ingredients, you’re ready to bake. Spoon out your cookie dough into 1 inch balls on your cookie sheet, placing them an inch apart from each other. They need the room to grow.  Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. No more, no less. Once they are out of the oven, pour yourself a glass of milk while you try to patiently wait for the cookies to come down to a temperature that does not burn the first 2 layers of your tongue. Dip your cookie and enjoy!