Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gingersnaps a la Grandma K

My Grandma K passed away in the summer of 2004.  She was bound to a wheelchair from the time she was about 60 years old until she passed away when she was 76.  Obviously this made it difficult for her to get around.  My grandpa was 10 years older than her, so it was difficult for him to get her around too.  Spending so much time at home, she devoted herself to baking some the best cookies to ever grace this earth.

When I was at college, she would bake some cookies and put them in the freezer for when I came home.  Using her great-depression era sensibility, nothing ever went to waste and some of her cookie concoctions were a little unorthodox.  (Ever heard of chocolate chip and hickory nut cookies?  Or peanut butter walnut cookies?)  If she had it in the kitchen, she could find a way to put it in a cookie.

She did stick to a recipe every once in a while, and this time of the year it was usually gingersnaps.  After she died, my aunt took her recipe cards, and made copies for anyone who was interested.  This is the only one I've ever attempted, and it usually turns out ok.  Of course, when I made them last weekend, I forgot to set a timer and I burned them.  Oh well, I'm sure my grandma would have eaten them anyway...or at least guilted my grandpa and all of us kids into eating them.  ;)

Here is the recipe and few pictures of yet ANOTHER (see here, here, and here) baking fiasco in my kitchen.
The recipe says to roll them out and cut into gingerbread men,
but I usually just roll them into balls and coat them with white sugar. 
¼ boiling water
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
½ cup shortening

3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg

Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

Pour water over shortening.  (I usually just heat up the water in the microwave)  Add sugar and molasses to water and shortening.  Mix well.  Add dry ingredients.  Chill dough.   

Roll out thin and cut into gingerbread men.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes (I'd keep close eye on them after about 12 minutes though..unless you like them crispy)

Burnt gingersnaps.  I'm sure my grandma is just happy that I tried.  :)

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