Oh, snap! Cookies for Santa

December 24, 2018 | 12:15 pm

Updated December 24, 2018 | 12:20 pm

Aunt Dode's Gingersnap cookies | Photo by Marlys Mason

Santa will be happy to see these cookies waiting for him — if they last that long!

I grew up in a baking family. Holidays were always celebrated with a buffet full of dessert choices. Winter time brings about the desire for spiced cookies, among many other flavors.

One of my family favorites is my Aunt Dode’s gingersnaps. The best part of these is their versatility — cook them for the shortest time for chewy gingersnaps and longer for a crispy gingersnap.

Since they are rolled in sugar, there are options there as well — colored for some fun, or white for a classic gingersnap.

These are the easiest cookies to make, although they do need several spices to bring out the flavor.

I use a KitchenAid mixer because it creates a heavy dough. I also line my cookie sheets with a silicone mat, but if you do not have one, spray the sheet with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, cream ⅔ c. of softened butter with ½ c. brown sugar (dark or light) and 1 c. sugar. Once mixed, about 3 minutes, add an egg and 4 T. molasses or sorghum. Combine well, scraping the sides, if needed.

This is my favorite part — some recipes require the baker to mix the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet, but it does not matter for this recipe. Add 2 ¼ c. all purpose flour, 1 t. ginger, 1 t. salt, 1 t. ground cloves, 1 t. cinnamon and 2 t. baking soda.

Once all ingredients are combined, roll dough into 1-inch balls.

Photo by Marlys Mason

Prepare a shallow bowl of sugar (I combined colored with regular white sugar for these) to roll the balls in once formed. I also find it works best to roll what will fit on a cookie sheet and then roll them in the sugar as the sugar sticks to my fingers and then I have sugar in the gingersnap dough.

Using a full-size cookie sheet, 12 balls fit on each with about two inches between.

Place cookie sheet in the middle of the oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees. Cookies will bake for 9-12 minutes for a chewy cookie and 12-15 minutes for a crisper cookie.

Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

Most ovens will accommodate two trays simultaneously since these can be chewy or crisp.

The recipe yields about 3 dozen cookies.

Aunt Dode’s Gingersnap recipe:
⅔ c. butter, salted or unsalted, softened
½ c. brown sugar, light or dark
1 c. sugar
1 egg
4 T. molasses or sorghum
2 ¼ c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves

Combine butter, sugars, egg, and molasses. Add dry ingredients, scraping sides to combine. Roll into 1-inch balls then roll the balls in sugar. Place on silicone-lined or greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake at 350 for 9-15 minutes. Cool for a minute or two before moving to a cooling rack. Store in airtight container.

December 24, 2018 | 12:15 pm

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