I thought I would have to let SHF #7, hosted by An Obession with Food pass this time around. Although I had gone out to purchase a bag of molasses as soon as I learned of the theme, I was busy for the past few weeks and did not have time to bake the famed Chez Panisse Gingersnaps, that so coincidentally called for molasses. But in any case, I woke up early today and so decided to make a last minute bid for SHF #7.
From this experience, I re-learned that baking should not be done when in a haste. The recipe itself was not difficult to follow and make, but in my hurry to get to the end, I made so many
mistakes changes that I think it should not be associated with the original recipe anymore, in case I ruin its reputation.
First and foremost, I halved the recipe. There's no way I can finish 70 cookies in a time span short enough to keep the snaps, well, snappy. Then, I realised I had bought the crystallized version of the main ingredient. Also, I did not have all-purpose flour at hand (I know, I know, what sort of baker am I??) so I used the better and finer "top flour". My first major boo-boo was adding baking powder, instead of the baking soda. Oopsy! But heck, I just added in the baking powder right after. :) I also did not have ground ginger at home, so I substituted with nutmeg.
Everything else fell into place. But man! This is the first time I dealt with molasses. I have to admit, the smell is amazing! As soon as I cut open the package, this wonderful and comforting scent tickled my nose, encouraging me to take in deeper wafts, until I found myself like a drug addict, sticking my nose just right to the sugar and taking in deep breaths of estacy. Oops! Let's move on shall we?
I didn't freeze the dough overnight, in view of the lack of time. I don't even know if I'll make it in time for the event but anyway, it was in the freezer for about 1/2 hour just to firm up enough to slice. The challenge was in the slicing, I found. The first few pieces were so of different thickness that I cringed when I look at my uneven layers on the cookie sheet. But anyway, off into the oven for 12 minutes and they turned out just nicely brown and crunchy. The boo boo earlier with the soda did not mess the recipe up! Oh and these are sooo good! But maybe I'm just biased and because I love my spices. Cinnamony, nutmegy and spicy! I love the crunch of each bite! Apparently so did the rest of my cell group :)
It's funny how I realised that I did not actually make gingersnaps, until I was trying to think of a good title for this post. I had typed in "gingersnaps", and after I mentally recalled the recipe, it suddenly struck upon me that I failed to use any ginger at all in this recipe!! So officially, I had made my own ...
180 g top flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of ground black pepper
110g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
140g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1 small egg
57 g molasses
Cream butter with salt and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla essence and egg and incorporate. Add in molasses and mix well.
Sift together all the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Mix well to form a dough.
Line a 9x5 loaf pan with plastic wrap, generous with overhangs. Press the dough firmly into the mould and wrap with the overhangs. Freeze, preferably overnight.
Take out and remove one side of the plastic. Slice thinly, about 2mm. Lay them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are brown.
Should make about 35 snaps!