Recipes, Sweet

Christmas Baking: Chewy Ginger Snaps

There is a nine and a half year age gap between my little brother and myself. When he was still in elementary school, I was already out living on my own and attending university. While he was in grade four, his school put together a cookbook and he decided since I liked to bake and cook it would make the perfect gift for me for Christmas. It is one of the sweetest gifts I have ever received.

This Ginger Snap recipe comes from that cookbook. I used it for my first attempt making ginger snaps and they turned out so well I haven’t bothered trying a different recipe since.  They have become a family tradition and it now isn’t Christmas without a batch of these chewy, spice filled cookies.  Judging by how quickly my 3 year old made his disappear this afternoon, I don’t think it is a tradition that I will be breaking anytime soon.

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar well.
  3. Beat in the egg and molasses.
  4. Stir in baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Gradually add flour and mix well until combined into a soft dough.
  6. Shape into approx. 1 tsp balls and roll in sugar.
  7. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

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I typically roll my ginger snaps in a mixture of red and green sugars for Christmas to add a festive touch.  This year, I decided to get a little fancier and dipped them in melted white chocolate and sprinkled them with some Wilton holly shaped sprinkles I found at Michaels.  Either way they are delicious!

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These ginger snaps were also the final item for the tins of baking I was packaging up for my siblings.  Last year I had the bright idea to use coffee filters in the tins to separate each of the baking items and it worked so nicely I thought I would share.  They keep the flavours for mixing and add a nice white ruffle throughout the basic Dollar Store tins I used.

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Recipes, Sweet

Christmas Baking: Peppermint Vanilla Chip Cookies

I finally got a start on my Christmas baking last night while the other members of my family were not-so-quietly watching Christmas specials.  I managed to get through two recipes last night and am hoping to get through a few more throughout this week.

I still had some leftover peppermint candy sticks sitting on my counter from the candy buffet I did in August so I decided I to find a candy cane cookie recipe to use them up.   I came across a few different recipes on pinterest, but am glad I finally settled on these Peppermint White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Closet Cooking.  I chose them because the reviews were good and the recipe was very straightforward.  My recipe quantities below are doubled from her recipe and the cookies turned out so tasty I am glad I made the decision to make s larger quantity!

The original recipe calls for white chocolate chips, but I decided to substitute vanilla flavored holiday chips I found several weeks ago at the grocery store.  When I spotted them I promptly tossed two bags into our shopping cart, not knowing what I was going to make with them but excited for the extra touch of festive color I knew they could bring to one of my recipes.

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Adapted from Closet Cooking

Makes 4 dozen
Total preparation and baking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (only real butter, not low fat), room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package Chipits vanilla flavored holiday chips (can also use white chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 cup peppermint candy cane, crushed

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugars in a bowl.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in the baking soda, salt and flour.
  4. Add the vanilla chips and the peppermint candy cane, folding in gently.
  5. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
  6.  Scoop the dough in to 1 tablespoon sized balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake in a 350F preheated oven until just lightly golden brown around the edges, approximately 8-10 minutes.

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Also up this week will be the Rice Krispie Treat gingerbread house I promised to make with my 3 year old.  We had a good time this morning picking out our candy decorations at the bulk store and are just waiting for the pan of treats to set and be ready to cut into walls and a roof.

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