Well the poll of favorite cookies in the Fall came out with Chocolate Chip as the winner. Although I really enjoy chocolate chip cookies (Ben's favorite), I would say that there is a particular Ginger Cookie that wins me over.
Ya see, Ben and I were staying at a Bed & Breakfast in Sumas, Washington while attending a marriage conference in the area. One of the specialties of this B&B was their homemade Ginger Cookies. The interesting part about it is that I never enjoyed Ginger cookies (probably b/c I never tasted a good one), due to the strong flavor & they were usually Gingersnaps (crisp not chewy). When we arrived in the evening to go to sleep there were four Ginger Cookies awaiting us. I thought, "oh how nice of them, but I probably won't enjoy them--but I'll take a bite, just in case."
I'm sure glad I did, b/c I raved about these cookies to Ben while describing every spice and flavor that came out. I think I was in pure shock that a Ginger Cookie could actually taste good. That was in February of 2006. Well, in the 7-8 months following I would occasionally mention to Ben how I wanted to go to Sumas to eat a Ginger Cookie. This craving came on even stronger once I was in my second trimester with Veronica. I decided I needed to email the B&B and get the recipe (I explained how much I loved them and how I was pregnant--hoping the pregnancy card would give me sympathy, in case they didn't give out recipes). The owner was so gracious to give it to me that I only find it appropriate to share it with you if you so desire to eat some yummy Ginger Cookies in the Fall.
Also, if you make them and then freeze them they turn out just as well--maybe a bit smaller, but plumper actually.
Giant Ginger Cookies
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups shortening (I know I'm not a big fan of using shortening--but these cookies are worth the sacrifice--use butter flavored)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated (I've tried both and I personally prefer the granulated, b/c there's less crunch from the sugar. If you like that crunch that comes from raw sugar or turbinado sugar--use it instead of the granulated)
1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together dry ingredients (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt) and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds to soften. Gradually add the 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture.
3. Shape dough into 2-in balls using 1/4 cup dough (you can use a small ice cream scoop designated for cookies). Roll balls in the 3/4 cup sugar. Place about 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (invest in parchment paper).
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes (if frozen 14 minutes is fine--just check for doneness) or until cookies are light brown and puffed. (Do not overbake or cookies will not be chewy.) Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Makes 25- 4-in cookies.
Let me know if you make them and how they turn out!