Monday, July 6, 2009

Ginger Snaps

At a magical place called Trader Joe's...a place that doesn't exist here in Utah (hello, Joe? you need to get on that)...they have a little treat like this:

(apologies, Flickr user corpse_of_taloy, yours is the only photo internet-wide of this phenomenon)

They are delicious (as are many things at TJ's). Aaannddd, bite me Joe, I'm never buying them again. Not even in Las Vegas (which is my closest TJ's). Because I can MAKE them. HA! I didn't realize that's what I would be making this week, but Alton Brown's ginger snap recipe turned out to be remarkably like these little gems.

My favorite wizard-chef strikes again with a very easy recipe that turns out to be so delicious. I cursed him for writing this recipe by weight rather than volume. You see, Alton, not all of us have your fancy-pants digital kitchen scale. Some of us merely have these

to work with. Not trustworthy, these ones. So, I was skeptical. Not of Alton's recipe. Of my scale's ability to measure accurately. I should have had faith. All turned out well, in spite of the antiquity you see above. I experimented a little with cooking time because I didn't want them to be purely crispy. I wanted them to be crispy when you first bite into them and then just a little bit chewy as you eat them. 10 minutes ended up being the magic cooking time for me. Your favorite cooking time may be different depending on how crispy you like your cookies and how close to sea level you are. Regardless of crispy vs. chewy, these are so ginger-y and yummy. Three different kinds of ginger: ground, fresh, and crystallized make for different levels of ginger taste and for a cookie that is a far cry from what you'll find at the grocery store (unless your store is TJ's).

I know, it's not really a ginger snap time of year. Having tested these cookies now, though, I am well-prepared to make them in the Fall (and potentially make them crispier so I can crush them and use them as a crust for a pumpkin cheesecake--just sayin').

One thing I learned while baking these: I need a real camera. I took quite a few pictures of the process and only the ones you see in this post turned out clear enough to post. It's discouraging.

But there's nothing prettier (or yummier) to me than butter and sugar creamed together.

TGIP Rating--Ginger Snaps--KEEPER

Next up: My cousin gave me a bag of freshly home-ground whole wheat flour yesterday. I think I will put it to good use and make a couple of loaves of whole wheat bread. If you have a favorite (and fool-proof) recipe to share, message me.


pinky said...

So apparently I am not the only one on the planet that dips my finger into the creamed butter/sugar compound and eats it before I add other ingredients. That makes me feel a whole lot better and not quite so all alone in the world. The cookies were delicious and I did not know until you posted whether you had made them, a guest had brought them or what. They were just as you say - the right amount of crispy and chewy. Perfect. Pooh-pooh on the other kind. I have 3 fresh boxes of them in the basement too. Now what?

Heidi said...

Pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust? Two of my most favorite EVER things combined?

I might die of bliss. What a wonderful idea! And I really want to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!