Monday, October 22, 2012

Ginger-Doodles: The Best Cookie EVAR!

Your new favorite holiday cookie--You're welcome!

Happy October, and sorry for being away from my blog for so long!  

The fall is always a busy time in our house between weekend trips to Lubbock for Texas Tech football games and camping trips to game-watching parties and dancing at the state fair and other festivals, so I don't usually have much time to devote to cooking much less blogging... 

BUT this past weekend, I made cookies for a game-watching party and they were such a big hit that instead of sending the recipe to 10+ people, I decided to grace y'all with my presence, tell y'all I'm not dead, apologize for my absence, and provide y'all with a great holiday cookie recipe so y'all wouldn't hate me (too much).  :)  I'm pretty sure that sentence is a complete run-on, but I'm over it and I hope you are too because this recipe is so good, you'll forget all about that run-on sentence.

Because I wasn't actually intending to make this recipe into a blog post (yet) because I really didn't have time to clean my kitchen and place all of my ingredients in adorable little bowls and photograph each step, all I have is a shot of the finished product.  Hopefully, at some point, I'll make these cookies again and will have time to take photos and update this blog post before the holidays are over, but I won't make any promises!  :)

So, without further ado, today's recipe is a little something I made up to accommodate the hubby's love for gingersnaps and my love for snickerdoodles.  I took a family friend's gingersnap recipe and altered it, and to my surprise, it actually works out really well... so well in fact, people ask for these cookies all the time.

(Awesome Are You Afraid of the Dark reference for your Halloween enjoyment coming up below:)

Submitted for the approval of the midnight society, I call these cookies.... 

Heather's Ginger-Doodles

-  1 1/2 cups  Shortening
-  1 cup          Granulated Sugar
-  1 cup          Light Brown Sugar
-  2 large        Eggs, slightly beaten
-  To Taste     Vanilla (I use approximately 3-4 tsp)
-  1/2 tsp        Salt
-  3 tsp           Cinnamon
-  2 tsp           Ginger
-  4 tsp           Baking Soda
-  1/3 cup       Molasses
-  4 cups         All Purpose Flour
-  Extra          Cinnamon and Sugar (for rolling)

-  In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on "Stir" (or the lowest setting), cream together the shortening and sugar until combined (about 3-5 minutes)
-  Still on the "Stir" setting, add in the slightly beaten eggs and vanilla, and increase the speed slightly and mix until combined
-  Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt, and sift together into a bowl or large (4 cup or more) measuring cup
-  With the mixer back on "Stir", slowly add in a little of the flour mixture
-  Once the small amount of the flour mixture is combined, add in a little of the molasses
-  Repeat with the flour mixture and then with the molasses until both are completely combined into the batter
-  Once everything is combined, give the batter a good stir, cover, and place in refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3 hours)
-  When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and mix together in a shallow bowl or dish some granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon (for rolling the cookies in)
-  Take out your batter and roll the dough into ping-pong sized balls, drop them in the cinnamon sugar and coat, and place the sugar-coated dough balls on the baking sheet
-  Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or just until the cookies begin to "crack" on top
-  Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest on the hot sheet for a few minutes before removing to cool on a wire cooling rack

-  This is a great cookie recipe to use a stand mixer with.  Thanks to the flour and molasses, this dough becomes very stiff and can be extremely tiring to attempt without a mixer.  I am not a big fan of hand mixers, but if that's all you have, that would be better than mixing by hand.  Not to say that you can't make this recipe without some kind of mixer; it's just a whole heck-of-a-lot easier with one.
-  This is one cookie you DO NOT want to over bake.  Because of the molasses, this cookie has a tendency to become a crunchy cookie, so if you want to keep it soft like a snickerdoodle, you will want to under-bake it in the over and let it "finish baking" on the cookie sheet after you take it out.  I tend to make the 8-minute mark the absolutely longest I will leave the cookie in, personally.