Mwah, mwah, mwah: My blog - have MEESED you!
It has been a crazy-busy fall but I am back. I've been looking forward to some Christmas sharing, from me to start with, but also from you, I hope, if you have some delicious sweet tradition of your own to tell me about!
I start to feel like baking when December 1st hits. The rest of the year, I am more inclined to make cakes and other desserts to be sliced up and shared; for Christmas, I love fussing with the individual goodies.
One of the must-makes in my house is gingersnap cookies. My dad's parents, Howard and Marion Lawton, immigrated to Alberta from Iowa, U.S.A. in 1932. They became cattle ranchers and lived a simple but interesting life with their four boys and beloved horses. As a little girl, no older than 9-year-old, my senses captured the typical evening scene in their dining room: the much-used Scrabble board on the table, sprinkled with fragrant bits of Grandpa's Sail pipe tobacco, half-full coffee cups, a dish of gingersnaps, westerns or mysteries in my grandparents' hands or left open at the last-read page like little tents, Grandma usually wearing a cardigan adorned with a brooch, her hair in a bun, and Grandpa with a bolo tie and a cowboy shirt.
A display I made for our Lawton family reunion
Yesterday would've been Grandpa Howard's 111th birthday; he passed away on the New Year's Eve before Gregory was born. Grandma died of cancer when I was in Grade 3, and I remember missing my class' Hallowe'en party for her funeral. I wish I had had more years with them, but my dad was the youngest brother so I was lucky to have spent as much time with them as I did. Scrabble and homemade gingersnaps during the holidays are the connections to them I hold dear.
My favorite cookie recipe is from Company's Company; I found it on their website's Free recipes section!
- WARNING: The dough is quite sticky so sometimes I dip my hands in cold water or give them a spray of Pam before rolling the balls. More often, though, I just remind myself, "Oh, yeah, this is the messy part...it'll be over soon..."
- I usually use the coarse white decorating sugar to roll the cookies in to give them more sparkle and crunch; I make the amount of sugar go further by rolling only the top 2/3 of the cookie in it instead of the whole ball. Last year, I found and used three varieties of Wilton Sparkling Sugars with beautiful results!
- The yield given by the recipe isn't usually how many it makes for me though I do follow their 1" ball size. I wouldn't want them any smaller!
Hard margarine (or butter), softened ¾ cup 175 mLGranulated sugar 1 cup 250 mL
Large egg 1 1
Fancy (mild) molasses ½ cup 125 mL
All-purpose flour 2 ½ cups 625 mL
Baking soda 2 tsp. 10 mL
Ground ginger 2 tsp. 10 mL
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp. 5 mL
Salt ½ tsp. 2 mL
Granulated sugar, approximately ¼ cup 60 mL
Combine next 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Add to margarine mixture in 2 additions, mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains. Roll into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls.
Roll each ball in second amount of sugar in small bowl until coated. Arrange about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on greased cookie sheets or ones lined with parchment paper. Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven for about 10 minutes until just firm. Let stand on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 7 ½ dozen (90) cookies.
1 cookie: 45 Calories; 1.7 g Total Fat (1.1 g Mono, 0.2 g Poly, 0.4 g Sat); 2 mg Cholesterol; 7 g Carbohydrate; trace Fibre; 0 g Protein; 62 mg Sodium
Thank you for coming back to my island after the hiatus! I hope you will take time to have a cookie-baking date with someone you love and raise a cup of coffee to your own loved ones during the Christmas season. See you again soon!