You guys. I know it’s been two weeks but NOT EVEN MY FAULT. I had a whole blog post prepared, and the internet at Caribou coffee decided to conk out sometime while I was writing. So I kept these two sentences from a previous draft:
“We’re having a holiday party tonight so I decided to make mulled wine and chewy gingerbread cookies. I’m sipping the wine right now!”
And that was last weekend. Quick recipe for mulled wine because it’s so easy and so delicious:
Peel the rind off an orange or three (here’s where the vegetable peeler from the fruitcake is so APPEALING). Toss the rind, the juice from the oranges, a few cinnamon sticks, a spoonful of whole cloves, and some chopped up bits of fresh ginger in a pot. Pour in a bottle of white wine and two bottles of red wine, and DO NOT BOIL but lightly heat that sucker for an hour or so. Stir in to dissolve a handful (1/3 cup or so) of brown sugar. Delicious hot, or with a splash of brandy!
After we finished the first three bottles, we poured in a few more with all that stuff that was still in there; it was still so good (or maybe just tasted that way after three bottles…)
Okay, so on to the main event. I just started a recipe without pre-reading it (another thing NOT to do), and was stunned when I added FOUR CUPS of flour. FOUR. This recipe apparently makes six dozen cookies, which is many more dozen than I usual go for. Luckily I had all the ingredients (more or less…) in my pantry already, so no going out into this twenty-degree weather for molasses.
First thing you do is melt the shortening. I ran out of shortening, so I used butter. Except I also didn’t have enough butter, so I threw in some applesauce too. I’m very precise with my baking, guys.
While that guy’s melting (don’t let your butter brown), whisk together your dry ingredients.
Then realize that you were supposed to have cloves and you only have those whole ones from your delicious mulled wine that you’ve been compulsively sipping on. So throw some cloves into your butter and hope the flavor infuses (I have no idea if it did or not. But these cookies were damn tasty.)
Once the fats are melted, fish out the cloves, and mix in your sweeteners and eggs.
Then mix those dry ingredients into your wet pot.
The original recipe (from allrecipes) tells you to then throw this in the fridge for three hours. Clearly not going to happen with me. But I did chill the dough for half an hour while I cleaned up for the party. If you’re curious, this has a pretty good explanation for why one should chill dough. There’s a lot of discussions out there, but as far as I’m concerned, chilling makes it MUCH easier to work with cookie dough. Otherwise all that melted fat just gobs up everything and you drop all the dough and the cats eat it and then everyone is sad.
SO. Once you’ve left the dough in the fridge as long as you can (it also keeps the cookies from spreading too much), you roll it into a ball, roll it in a plate of sugar, and put it on your silpat.
You’ll want to keep these guys a few inches apart because they spread like eagles.
We ate all 70-some cookies in two hours of the party. They are SO GOOD. Make sure to bake EXACTLY ten minutes. 9 minutes, they’ll be too soft, and 11 minutes, too crisp. Ten gives a perfect slight crisp outside and gooey inside.
By the way, that fruitcake is DELICIOUS AND ADDICTING now.
Recipe from this post, adapted from allrecipes:
1/2 c shortening
3/4 c butter
1/4 c applesauce
Then mix in:
2 c sugar
1/2 c molasses
Whisk in another bowl:
4 c flour
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves or allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients with wet, chill for three hours. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll in sugar. Bake at 375 for exactly ten minutes.