Saturday, October 5

A Ginger Cookie Well Worth the Effort

I picked up some light pumpkin ice cream the other day, which is probably one of my favorite flavors.  For some reason, I haven't been able to stop thinking about making it into an ice cream sandwich, with a fresh ginger cookie.

I have and often use my Grandmother's old cookbook, which is basically a collection of our church's Rosary Society Member's favorite recipes.  While I'm often dismayed by ingredients such as "lard", I still head to that book before pa rousing the internet for a recipe.  There is something to be said about creating a recipe 20, 30, 40 years later in the same way my Grandmother and some of her dearest friends once did.  And since I only have few memories of cooking with my Grandmother (which mostly involve mashed potatoes and getting to clean a beater from her stand mixer) I hold onto this book tightly.  I found a lovely recipe for ginger cookies, but I substituted the lard for some softened unsalted butter.  Do stores sell lard?  Do people still make their own lard?  I'm not sure I could use it, it's just not very appealing.  I'll stick with butter and vegetable fats for now.

I'm really into photographing my food, and I loved catching the melting ice cream from the fresh, warm cookie after making these cookies.  I'm learning how to capture foods/photos with my iphone thanks to some fantastic posts and an instragram iphone lesson published weekly over at Annapolis and Co, which I highly recommend you checking out if you get a moment.  You won't be disappointed!  Plus, she has lots of great recipes on her site, the granola bars are awesome.  They've become a staple at our house.

But while we're craving something a little more sweet, it's usually a cookie.  Which turned into a lovely Friday night around here.

Ginger Cookies

This recipe makes about 2 dozen medium sized cookies
The cookie dough freezes very well, up to 3 months

2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1/2 tsp nutmeg
 1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed lightly
4 tblsp softened butter, unsalted
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
white sugar, for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, spices and salt in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and molasses until soft and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg until combined.  Add half the dry ingredients and mix, alternating with 1/2 cup buttermilk until combined.  

Roll into tablespoon sized balls and coat with white sugar.  Place on baking sheet and into oven. Bake for 12 minutes, until tops are cracked, but cookies are still soft.  Allow to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

To make ice cream sandwiches:
When cookies are cool to touch, add a heaping spoonful of your favorite ice cream (we used a store bought pumpkin ice cream) between two cookies.  Enjoy quickly, it's a messy, but delicious treat!

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