Safeway wouldn’t sell me a single can of Guinness, so I used an IPA (India Pale Ale) that was in our refrigerator; I didn’t want to go on a big single can Guinness-search – or more likely send my boyfriend on one – and I have subbed in lighter beer in another gingerbread recipe with fine results. The other changes I made were omitting the cocoa powder and adding a couple tablespoons of fresh ground ginger: if I’m making gingerbread, I want strong ginger taste! I think the gingerbread came out very tasty. I don’t think it will replace my favorite gingerbread recipe, which is Cook’s Country’s Bold and Spicy Gingerbread, but I definitely enjoyed eating it and it was much better than my average weekday breakfast!
I gave this recipe a 7.5 for Deliciousness and 2 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 3.75. Many thanks to Katie of Katiecakes for giving me an opportunity to make gingerbread before the holidays. If you would like the recipe, go to Katie’s site, and if you would like to see what the other bakers thought of it, visit the SMS blogroll.
Now for ginger, round two. My mom used to make these ginger cookies with oatmeal in them, that I absolutely loved. They were soft and chewy, with just the right amount of oats for texture. And then, to make a long story short, about eleven years ago the cookbook they came from disappeared in a move and the recipe was lost! I couldn’t remember the exact cookbook it came from (I did know it was an old one) and I spent some time trying to recreate the recipe. I actually had pretty good success with it and they were in my repertoire for a while. Then I lost my recreated recipe at some point and hadn’t been bothered to try again. However, they’re back! One of our local libraries has a used book sale every month and yesterday I found this familiar-looking cookbook – for $ .50, which included a recipe called Oatmeal Gingersnaps. There was also a recipe for something called “health cookies,” which I recall being amused by.
I called my mom to tell her about this miraculous find and she totally remembered the cookies and the cookbook and said, “Yes! It was an all-cookie book.” Despite the fact that it was close to ninety degrees yesterday, I was planning on baking cookies anyway, and these ones jumped to the top of the queue. I just had to confirm if they were “the ones” and if they were as good as I remembered. I am happy to report that they are as wonderful as I remembered them to be. And easy: it’s a one-bowl recipe. I give these gingersnaps a 9 for Deliciousness and a 2 for Effort, giving the recipe an EDR of 4.5.
Oatmeal Gingersnaps, adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Homemade Cookies Cookbook
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (I used ¾ white sugar and ¼ light brown sugar)
¾ cup quick-cooking rolled oats*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I halved the recipe and still used a whole teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (the original recipe called for shortening)
¾ cup molasses
Sugar for dusting
Combine the first seven ingredients together in a medium bowl (if you’re using a stand mixer, use its bowl since you won’t be using another). Add in the butter, molasses, and egg, and beat with electric mixer (paddle attachment for stand mixer) for two minutes. Optional: chill the dough (the recipe doesn’t say, but I left the dough in the refrigerator for a couple hours). When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Shape the cookies into approximately one-inch sized balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. They will spread very evenly and be thin but soft. Leave on baking sheet for one minute, then transfer to rack to cool.
*When I tried to recreate the recipe, the oatmeal texture was the most difficult part. I knew they were not overly “oaty” so I never wanted to add too many oats. I hadn’t realized the original called for quick-cooking oats, which have a subtler texture than regular. I would definitely use quick-cooking oats unless you want more of an oatmeal cookie quality.