27 June 2007
I have come to believe that cookies/biscuits or ninnies as my aunt calls them, are the unofficial 5th major food group, and one that I cannot live without, especially as it has not stopped raining for the past week and feels more like October than June…. who is playing the cruel joke! So I am having cravings for hot drinks and cookies, and with the urge to bake last night came across this recipe from an old issue of the Globe and Mail newspaper.
The original cookie recipe called for shortening / hydrogenated vegetable oil or vegetable lard, not to be confused with normal lard if you don’t want your cookies tasting of bacon!. However I am a purist when it comes to butter, even more so after reading about the negative side effects of eating industrially created trans fats by partly hydrogenation plant oil. The moral of the story = eat what nature naturally intended and not what humans have manipulated to increase shelf life!
I like these cookies as they are, however I did go out on a limb and added cubes of candied ginger and nutmeg, then reduced the cooking time to 8 minutes to give them slightly chewy centres.
- word root from Portuguese melaço (with mel meaning honey)
- originated from the Caribbean Islands
- thick syrup / treacle from processing sugarcane
- Blackstrap molasses: is dark brown in colour & bittersweet. It contains the least sugar & is the result of the 3rd boiling of pure pressed sugar cane juice. Excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron & potassium
- buy unsulphured molasses which doesn’t contain this processing chemical
- Store for one year, in a tightly sealed jar, in the refrigerator or cool, dry place
RECIPE – SWEET PEA BLOG
- 270g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 50g candied ginger (cut into approx 0.5cm squares)
- 160g butter
- 190g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 60ml UNREFINED dark blackstrap molasses
- (white sugar for rolling the cookies)
- Pre heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) and set aside.
- Cut up the candied ginger into small squares (ie 0.5cm each) and set aside.
- In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light & fluffy
- Next add the egg. TURN OFF THE MIXER (or you will have the problem I had the 1st time with lovely sticky molasses twined around your machine). Add the molasses and then beat again.
- Next gradually add the flour mixture, until you have a unified batter.
- Gently fold in the candied ginger pieces.
- Finally fill a shallow bowl with white sugar. Take a teaspoon of batter and form it into a round ball. Roll the ball in the white sugar until evenly coated, and then place on the baking sheet – leaving space for spreading (I normally cover the sheet with baking paper).
- Cook for 8 to 10 minutes depending on your oven and desired chewyness