A leafless tree on a grey November afternoon
When I was a kid, I thought November was the worst month of the year. In Canada, by mid-November it’s starting to get cold and there’s always the possibility of snow. Most of the leaves are off the trees and the skies are often grey and gloomy. Halloween is over but Christmas is still pretty far away (from a child’s perspective, at least).
However, now that I’m older, I have a new outlook on November. It’s a time of quiet – a time to nurture our bodies and souls. A grey Sunday afternoon now means putting a hearty soup or stew on to simmer, lighting a fire in the fireplace and curling up with a good book. There’s no pressure to be racing around doing a million things. We can take time to enjoy our friends and family over cozy dinners or an evening of cocktails before the madness of the holiday season is upon us. Come to think of it, I think I actually like November now!
Here is a recipe for ginger cookies, the perfect comfort treat for a grey day. They are particularly good fresh from the oven, served warm with pumpkin gelato or ice cream (you could even put some pumpkin ice cream between two cookies for a decadent ice cream sandwich!). Be sure not to bake the cookies too long – they stay chewy if slightly undercooked.
Spiced Ginger Cookies
Makes approximately 20 cookies
- 3/4 cup shortening OR unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar + an additional 1/2 cup for rolling cookies in
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
- With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream shortening and 1 cup of the sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add molasses and egg and beat for another minute or two until ingredients are thoroughly mixed (tip: spray measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring the molasses so it doesn’t stick to the inside of the cup).
- Add flour one cup at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Add salt, baking soda and spices. Mix until evenly distributed through the batter.
- Pour remaining 1/2 cup of sugar onto a plate. Scoop out about 1-1/2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball that is slightly smaller than a golf ball. Roll dough in sugar and place on baking sheet. Repeat with the remainder of the dough (the cookies will have to be baked in batches of 6 to 8).
- Bake for approximately 8 to 9 minutes, or until they begin to puff up and the bottoms are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before taking off the cookie sheet. Let cool and serve.
Bon Appétit and Enjoy!