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Christmas Baking 2009 – Part I

Makin' molasses spice cookies

Well, here it is! I’ve been talking it up, but I finally got it all finished. Loads of time left to ship it all out to locations across the nation. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or not, but it took me 9 hours to fluff, fold, mix, spread, refrigerate, roll out, dip and package all these cookies. I’m not sure if Christmas baking really is all that easier than heading out to overcrowded malls during the seasonal crush. Maybe it would have been easier just to max out my credit cards like everyone else. Perhaps, next year, I will just make marshmallows and package up some homemade hot chocolate for gifts. There really was a lot of thought and effort put into these baked goods and I truly hope everyone likes them as much as I do.

Also, I just want all the family to know that I didn’t get to have any left for myself either, except for a few eggnog shortbread cookies. I know, boo hoo. Oh well, next year I will double the recipes!

Today I will feature my Molasses spice or chewy gingerbread cookies. They are a favourite of mine, and I hope they can become one of yours too. It’s taken me a few years to perfect the right amount of chocolate and spices, but I think I nailed it this time. Come back in a day or two for the Eggnog Shortbread and Mocha Candy Cane Cake Balls.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

yield: 2-3 dozen

3 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp of boiling water
1/3 cup sugar

Molasses cookie dough

1. Sift flour, cocoa and spices into large bowl.
2. In bowl of electric mixer (with whisk attachment), add butter and brown sugar. Beat until fluffy.
3. Slowly add in molasses, and continue to beat until incorporated.
4. In batches, beat in flour, alternating with baking soda/water mix.
5. Shape dough into large disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F.
7. Shape dough into small balls (1/2″ to 1″). Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined in parchment paper.
8. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes.
9. Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar, flatten with palms slightly and bake for 12-15 minutes.
10. Let cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely before eating.

Kitchen Disaster area

Look! Your house can look this good too after 9 hours of baking!

19 comments to Christmas Baking 2009 – Part I

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