Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Homemade Gingersnaps with Lemon Zest Sugar

Merry Christmas you guys! This year has been so crazy that I hope for some calm or at least more organized chaos in the new year. That said I feel so blessed I shouldn't even complain about a darned thing. My family is healthy. My baby is almost 16 months and full of piss and vinegar. Tomorrow he will wake up and be present enough to realize it's Christmas! I can't wait.

In the meantime I leave you with a new favorite cookie recipe from the cookbook, Baked Occasions. It's a gingersnap recipe and I promise you it's the easiest, most unfussy yet delicious recipe I have ever made. No mixer required and the dough will sit on the counter without getting too soft or weird should you get caught up in other holiday (or life) nonsense.

In fact, it's the PERFECT recipe if you want to make cookies (or have to) but forgot to set out the butter to soften or thought ahead for any other fiddly bits that baking often requires of you. You might even have everything on hand to make them!

Merry Merry, sweet people.

Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar
* I used large decorating sugar versus granules - colors are even more beautiful!

Lemon Sugar Coating:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon

Dough Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice (or a scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

How To:
For the lemon sugar, place the sugar 3/4 and lemon zest in a shallow bowl. Stir together, being sure to break up any clumps of zest and set aside.

For the dough, preheat the oven to 325. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and canola oil until combined. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Add the molasses and whisk again until fully incorporated.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Use a heavy wooden spoon (and/or very clean hands) to fully combine everything well.

Use a small (1/2 inch) ice cream scoop (or a melon baller) to scoop small scoops of dough from the batter. Mix with your hands into rounded balls, roll them in the lemon sugar and set on the prepared cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until just crackled on top and beautifully spread out. Let set on sheet for a few seconds before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Will keep for 3-4 days in airtight container.