Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fill your Kitchen with Christmas

I make a variety of goodies every year and my favorite to bake are the Ginger Spice Cookies based on a recipe from Paula Deen. It's only 1 of 2 recipes I've ever made by Ms. Deen. This is because I enjoy going to the gym and wouldn't want to turn that routine into a weight loss regimen I'd inevitably require if I subscribed to her "butter makes everything better" style of cooking.

These Christmas-y cookies make your kitchen smell divine! They're crispy on the edges with a softer chew in the middle. The candied ginger melts slightly in each cookie. They're spicy and just sweet enough to please kids and adults alike. This recipe is a double batch and makes about 6 dozen.

Ginger Spiced Cookies
1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups ap flour
4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup chopped candied ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer on low speed, cream the shortening and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and molasses and beat until the mixture is a uniform color. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, candied ginger, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and stir on low speed until combined. In your palms, roll the dough into 1 inch size balls and then roll in sugar. Gently flatten with your fingertips and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

p.s. The second recipe I made by Paula Deen was a "Better than Sex" cake I made for a friend's birthday. While it was delicious and didn't last long I think Paula needs to spend more time in other rooms besides the kitchen.

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