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Monday, June 24, 2024 at 4:55 PM

What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Gingerbread Cookies

What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen - Gingerbread Cookies

Author: Photo courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

As we approach the year's end, my perception of time has become somewhat blurred as life seems to be hurtling forward at a frenetic pace. As the calendar edges to its final page, we find ourselves at the crossroads of nostalgia and possibility.

The haziness in my perception of time serves as my sole justification for addressing the December Spice of the Month only now, and for that, I extend my sincere apologies.

Ginger, our chosen spice as we step into 2024, has symbolized prosperity and good luck since medieval times.
Originating in Southeast Asia, ginger is one of the world's oldest medicinal foods. Ancient Ayurvedic texts hailed ginger as a "universal great medicine," while traditional Chinese medicine credited it with "restoring devastated yang." Today, ginger is valued for its health benefits and bold and delectable flavor, adding a punch to sweet and savory recipes. Whether featured in spicy gingersnap cookies or enhancing the depth of curry, ginger seamlessly finds its place in diverse culinary creations.
For more information about ginger and to try a sample for yourself, stop by the Churchill County Library and ask your favorite librarian about the December Spice Club.

Ginger Tea - To make a simple ginger tea, measure ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger into a mug; top with 1 cup of boiling water. Stir and let sit until it is cool enough to drink then strain through a coffee filter. Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey.

Gingerbread Cookies - recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

INGREDIENTS
3 ½ c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
1 T ground ginger
1 T cinnamon
½ t ground allspice
½ t ground cloves
10 T unsalted butter, softened
¾ c dark brown sugar
⅔ c unsulphured or dark molasses
1 large egg, room temperature
1 t pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Next, beat in egg and vanilla on high speed for 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The butter may separate; that’s okay.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick and slightly sticky. Divide in half and place onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap up tightly and pat down to create a disc shape. Chill discs for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Remove 1 disc of chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Generously flour a work surface, as well as your hands and the rolling pin. Roll out disc until ¼ - inch thick. Tips for rolling—the dough may crack and be crumbly as you roll. What’s helpful is picking it up and rotating it as you go. Additionally, you can use your fingers to help meld the cracking edges back together. The first few rolls are always the hardest since the dough is so stiff, but re-rolling the scraps is much easier. Cut into shapes. Place shapes 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped. Repeat with the remaining disc of dough.

Bake cookies for about 9-10 minutes. If your cookie cutters are smaller than 4 inches, bake for about 8 minutes. If your cookie cutters are larger than 4 inches, bake for about 11 minutes. Keep in mind that the longer the cookies bake, the harder and crunchier they’ll be.

Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, decorate as desired


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