Yesterday was my favorite day of the year - Renaissance Faire day! I truly wish I could live at the Faire. If it were close to me and didn't also run in the disgusting heat of the summer, I would definitely try to work there. It is a magical place for hippy-geeks such as myself. The smell of woodsmoke and incense and dry autumn leaves, Celtic music playing, delicious food roasting, big beautiful herbs growing all around the grounds, the costumes, the hand-made hippy-friendly goodies- it just doesn't get any better!
This year, since we've moved another hour and a half farther from the Faire, I gave the mister a break and convinced my mom and grandma to go with me. I think they really enjoyed it. Corrupting my elders to geekdom, maybe it can be done!
Now I'm back home and the frankenstorm is on the way! Appropriate for this Halloween week, I guess! Mass blackouts have been predicted, so to prepare I have some bread rising on the countertop, some chicken defrosting to cook up for dinners, and some tupperware full of cookies I made the other day.
Last year I discovered this fantastic recipe for gingersnaps on Allrecipes. I put the "snaps" in quotes because while you can bake them for the full amount of time to make them snappy, I prefer to take these out at 8-10 minutes when they're beautifully puffed up, soft and chewy. Either way, these gingery goodies are the perfect treat to add to your Halloween party spread, and to keep making and enjoying again throughout the holiday season!
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup molasses
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 cup white sugar for decoration
(Take note, this is a big recipe! I make small cookies so even if I half this, it still makes about 3 sheets.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs, and then the molasses. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, heaping the measures if you like a lot of spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture just until blended.
Roll the dough into small balls, and dip the top of each ball into the remaining white sugar (I don't just dip, I roll them all around in it.) Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are cracked. Bake longer for crispy cookies, less time for chewy cookies. Cool on wire racks.
And that's it! Another great thing about these cookies is that they have a pretty long shelf-life and stay very soft and fresh. They're delicious with a hot cup of masala chai, or maybe some spiced cider with a splash of buttershots!