Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Curtis & Schwartz Ginger Cookies

These cookies are a long-time favorite, chewy, buttery, and spicy. Because this recipe has been a go-to recipe of mine for a long time, I play around with it quite a bit. This week I played around with it no less than three times. Most of the first and second batches went to the crew at Angels and Accordions, but I couldn't resist making a third just for us at home. Both Matt and I love spice, (witness the honeycake obsession), and these are easy pantry cookies because they require no chocolate or nuts or other specific ingredients that I don't always have on hand. This tells you a lot about my pantry--I sometimes have chocolate and nuts, I ALWAYS have ginger and molasses. (Actually, after three batches I'm out of molasses, but that's why I have sorghum).

The recipe is from the Curtis & Schwartz cookbook, a spiral bound collection of recipes from a long-defunct Northampton restaurant, famous for their brunch. Because the book is no longer easy to get a hold of, I'll post the recipe here, with my notes.

Ginger Molasses Cookies
adapted from the Curtis & Schwartz Cookbook

  • 6oz. (1.5 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling/rolling)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2-1/2 cups flour (I get best results using closer to two cups, with the judicious addition of some of the last 1/2 cup as needed)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda>salt to taste (approx. 1/2 tsp. if using unsalted butter)
  • 1 Tblsp. ginger (or more! more is good!)1 tsp. cinnamon
  • other spices (nutmeg, cloves, ras al hanout, cardamon, etc...) to taste

Preheat oven to 325 F. Blend the dry ingredients (reserve 1/2 cup flour). Cream the butter and sugar well, beat in egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients and mix well, then add as much of the flour as you feel necessary (remember, the higher the butter/flour ratio, the chewier the cookies (witness photo above). More flour will make them cake-ier). Scoop rounded spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle with or roll in sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. Let stand a moment on the sheet, then cool on a rack.

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