Have you ever found yourself baking something just because of what it reminds you of? The memories it evokes? The traditions created around that certain recipe?
Gingersnaps are one of those recipes for me.
Baking them takes me back to Thanksgiving mornings many years ago when the boys were young, and we lived on Borderline Drive.
The only thing separating us from our closest neighbors and the boys’ best friends was five glorious acres of woods with a stream running through it and a clearing right smack in the middle that our two boys and the three neighbor boys (and one girl) declared, designed, and spent countless hours at – – “the Field.”
In the summer, there was a dugout made from chain link fence and whatever scraps of wood or pipe the boys could rustle up to hold it up that year. They built up a pitcher’s mount, painted base lines with spray paint, and secured tattered rubber bases to create their field of dreams.
Come Fall, however, the baseball field was converted to a football field.
And every Thanksgiving morning, after turkeys were stuffed and left to roast, our neighborhood families would gather for our annual “Turkey Bowl” football game.
One neighbor brought the cooler of beer for the adults and built the bonfire for the “fans” and “cheerleaders” to hover and converse at.
My job was hot chocolate and warm gingersnaps fresh out of the oven.
I made them for years every Thanksgiving for the Turkey Bowl. They usually got eaten by ravenous linebackers and receivers wearing mud covered gloves. The men found them to go famously with beer too! There were Thanksgivings with snow on the ground and others where no coat was necessary, but we always had warm gingersnaps.
I seemed to have misplaced the original handwritten recipe from Barb. I’ve never got around to properly organizing my recipes, and I’m sure I could just call her, but I found this recipe online, and it seems to come pretty close. I made them the other day to share with some guests at the office. I think they need a little more ginger, but that is a preference you can decide.
Today’s #Writing101 Assignment is to write about finding something. I know this is a stretch 🙂 – and a better story would be if I would have found that dang original handwritten recipe from Barb!
But this was my sneaky way of getting to share a recipe, share a memory, and share some photos I took of the cookies I made. I call that a SCORE! And hey – I wrote – and I found something.
Gingersnap Gems (from Midwest Living)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves ( I omitted)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I used 3/4 tsp, but would make it a full tsp. next time)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the 1 cup sugar and shortening with an electric mixer until well combined. Beat in molasses; beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I always bake on a baking stone, and I flattened mine slightly before baking.)
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and tops are crackled. Cool on a cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes approximately 30-36 cookies depending on size.
Cheers & Hugs,