Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The (almost) Secret Recipe of the (almost) Famous Ginger Snaps

Have you ever noticed if someone calls their dish "famous" it is inevitably a secret recipe? I don't know why this is so true but it's an easily observable phenomenon. If it were to preserve the marketability of a recipe brand that would be one thing, but typically no one has actually heard of this "famous" dish - nor is anyone trying to market it. This is the case with my mother's ginger snaps.


A holiday tradition in my family that is possibly a more important part of Christmas than gifts. These cookies deserve to be famous. They are not. Not really anyway.

We eat so many of them that my mom's only willing to make them a few times a year (and always only between November and January).


My mother got the recipe while in college. She was in a sorority (hoped for a long time I would follow that path too - crazy.) and the house "mom" made them regularly. When my mother loves something it is no small love. Her basic recipe is a double batch, and we typically double that every time, so it's a load of work to keep our house supplied. Now that we all live out on our own it's 5xs more work to keep all of our houses full for the season.


These cookies are sooo worth it.

Mama's Ginger Snaps
11/4 cup margarine (softened)
21/2 cups sugar ….. PLUS 1 cup to roll the dough balls in.
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and molasses in a large mixing bowl until smooth. In a second mixing bowl mix your baking soda and spices with your flour (I am very heavy handed with the spices).

Add the flour to wet ingredients slowly, about a cup at a time. 

Roll into balls about ¾” in diameter. Roll the dough balls in the reserved sugar. Place well spaced on the cookie sheet, as they spread. 

BAKE at 375°

Bake until done (about 8 minutes). That is up to you, my mom likes hers almost burnt ("extra crunchy" as she calls it).
Let them cool very slightly before removing from pan, but not too much or they don’t come off.

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