Cookie Making Adventures(misadventures)By Donald McKenzie
Aside from a garden out back, one of the things I looked forward to when I moved into the house I am now living in, was the prospect of a full-sized stove and oven in which to do more cooking and baking. Moving in during the heat of summer meant that I didn’t get into the habit right away, so it’s only recently that I’ve started to make more of a conscious effort in this area.
One other thing that comes with moving is that you find you lose things. One of the things I’ve lost is a cookbook put out by a Presbyterian church in Ontario about 50 years ago. That cook book contained the recipe for Ginger snaps that I have always used. This was a no fail recipe. Not having that recipe I decided to search the web for a recipe and ended up with the recipe listed below. This turned out to be a definite cookie fail.
Several months later I discovered where the recipe I had used actually came from. It was not from the Presbyterian cookbook, but rather from another cookbook entitled, Meals from the Manse, a collection of recipes from the wives of famous preachers. I don’t know the original date of publication but the recipes are all attributed to Mrs. so-so. For example, the one by Billy Graham’s wife isn’t by Ruth Bell Graham, but by Mrs. Billy Graham. Well certain aspects of the cookbook seem quaint and out of date, the recipes are still really great.
I tried that recipe over the Christmas season in 2018 and those cookies turned out every bit as well as I remember them. I’ll look that recipe up and add it here, later.
The recipe is called Grandma’s Gingersnaps and can be found at AllRecipes, submitted to the site by RAMB.
- 3/4 cup margarine
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup white sugar for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses until well blended. Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the molasses mixture to form a dough. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll the balls in the remaining sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
I made one intentional change to the recipe, and that was the addition of a half teaspoon of cloves. I do remember that the old recipe I used called for ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
I mixed all the ingredients according to the recipe, and put them in the oven, only to discover to my dismay, that when I turned on the oven to check on them, I noticed that they were spreading out really flat. Fortunately, when I pulled them out of the oven, they weren’t over cooked, but were rather flatter and crispier than I had hoped for. The really good thing was the flavours were excellent even if the cookies looked horrible. Plus, having cooked them on parchment, they were quite easy to separate.
I said that I made one intentional change in ingredients. I discovered later that I made an unintentional change in the ingredients. I was using a 3/4 cup measure for the butter, and I used the same measure for the flour, and even adding more later, I ended up with a smaller amount of flour than the recipe called for. In the end, the cookies tasted fine, and I enjoyed everyone of them, so I’m not upset.
Oatmeal Cookie for Supper
Last Saturday I was on the slate to cook the evening meal at the St. Margaret’s Saturday Service. I thought about giving the ginger snaps another try. However, I was cooking baked beans with Molasses and Cinnamon, so I decided I would try and create something different for dessert.
The beans which I mixed with some shredded pork, and a little bit of apple sauce turned out quite well. However, it was a first attempt, and I intend to do a little more tinkering with amounts, etc. before I post. I don’t have pictures of it, but the pork was cooked in my slow cooker. I rinsed the meat, patted it dry, and then coated it with a dry rub.
The dry rub consisted of 1 part cinnamon, 1 part ginger, 1 part kosher salt, and about a dozen twist of the pepper grinder. I placed the meat in the slow cooker, and added a container of Campbell’s Pho Broth for liquid. I put it on high for a couple of hours, and then turned in down to low and allowed it to continue cooking overnight, around 8 hours. It fell apart at the touch of a fork, and tasted quite delicious.
This week’s meal was one of those. let’s use up what’s left in the cupboards, and fridge. I had recently picked up a bag of no-name large flake oats, and after looking at the recipe on the back I ended up giving that a go. The cookies are called Old-Fashioned Oat Cookies. They made a nice contrast to the beans, and are quite sweet and chewy.
Old-Fashioned Oat Cookies
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) no name All-purpose Flour
1tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) no name Unsalted Butter, softened
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) PC Pure Vanilla Extract
3 cups (750 mL) no name Large Flake Oats
Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(180 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, use electric mixer to beat butter with brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture, beating on low speed until combined. With wooden spoon, stir in oats and mix well.
Form rounded tablespoon (15 mL) of cookie dough into a ball, place on baking sheet and flatten slightly to 1/2 inch (1 cm) 2 inches (5 cm) apart on baking sheets.
Bake on top and bottom racks of oven for 9 – 11 or until cookies are firm on top and light golden around the edges. Halfway through baking time, switch position of sheets and turn sheets around. Cool on baking sheets 1 -2 minutes before transferring to rack.
Makes 36 cookies
I only had the one baking sheet, so I baked them in two batches. It certainly adds to the time required to make these. I went with the nine minute baking time which left me with a cookie that is good and chewy on the inside. The only significant difference between my recipe and the one on the bag was that I used artificial instead of pure vanilla extract.
About the author
Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.