Monday, December 03, 2012

ABC Bakers; Ginger crackles

Ginger crackles up close
A crackling good cookie! I could have known because Lien’s monsters couldn’t leave these alone… so that means good news for my monsters: cookie time! The dough didn’t look like a lot but I scaled down the size and got 70(!) cookies from it… talk about value for money dough! I smile when I make smaller cookies (or meatballs for that matter) because my boys always want two, or three, or four maybe? Now I can be the best mom ever and grant them another one, and yet another one..
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These were an instant hit! When I was still mixing up the dough Son #3 –the one with the discerning nose and palate-, asked what spices were in the dough and gambled on ginger and cinnamon. Right! Son #2 was the wild card, you never know what he likes or dislikes. He is a picky eater and I suspect a large part of that is between his ears and has nothing to do with taste buds. So when he came home from school and before taking off his coat said: Owwww what’s smelling so good? I simply told him crackly cookies. Left out the ginger bit because ugh.. ginger? Wait and have him taste and declare it good and only then tell him ginger wouldn’t work either, he would refuse any cookies even though he loved them before. Because you know: ginger! As I said: in the brain, not the tastebuds.
Ginger crackles the batch
This is the last month in which the ABC bakers conclude their year of baking with Abigail Dodge: The Weekend Baker. I certainly had my favourites, there weren’t many disappointments and if there were it was probably more that it wasn’t to our liking than the recipe in itself.

As I said before I love the concept of the book, I think it’s brilliant to look at baking fresh family favorites from the viewpoint of a busy household. In every recipe Abby follows a set of  guidelines. She tells you the do aheads, e.g. prepare through to step X then refrigerate, or prepare through step XX and freeze. Each step is numbered, so it’s easy reading and a quick look up.
Where possible flavor variations are given and the best of all; ingredients are listen in either metric (grams), imperial (ounces), or volume (cups..). This was/is certainly a book I enjoy baking from!

After the boys had their fill I layered some 40 cookies in a single layer between waxed paper and put in the freezer…. I plan to get some of them out by the end of next week to see how they keep. Also I have stored a couple in the fridge in an airtight container. So by the end of next week I’ll be able to decide whether to bake again the week after and refrigerate until the big dinner party or keep the remainder in the freezer. Edit to say: these store beautifully!! In the fridge as well as the freezer. The batch from the freezer (single layers between waxed paper came out like fresh!)

We still have a cookie jar left filled with crackles to enjoy tonight and tomorrow!
You can get the recipe on Abby's website here. And if you like you can hop over to the ABC blog to see how the other ABC bakers did.

Notes on the recipe:
- held back on the ground cloves, added 1/4 tsp instead of 1/2
- no molasses and no golden syrup in the pantry; substituted “keukenstroop”
- smaller cookes, baked shorter time (10 minutes)
- fan assisted oven, decreased temp by 20C to 160C
- rolled in unrefined sugar

All in all a lovely tender cookie, crisp exterior, slightly chewy interior. Re-bake-able! (and you know, I think it would be great to mix it up in ice cream..)
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  1. They look absolutely perfect! Glad the boys liked them. I can't wait to bake these (next weekend). I'm also looking forward to baking KAF recipes, I hope you are too.
    Thanks for asking about my trip. I had an awesome time! :o)

  2. They look awesome! LOVE! these, and although it's late, am tempted to go make some!

  3. They look so pretty! Good Job!

  4. Lovely cookies! Mine was not so pretty, did not have that many cracks, and I used dark molasses as that was what I had! Anyway, these tasted very nice!
    Looking forward to 2013 bakes!

  5. I so so recognize your son#2, he's just like our boy. He'll devoure a bananacake with a smile, but won't eat it again after he's told it has banana in it (and that's just one example) TOtally between the ears my dear! Moms can be so clever; scaling them down and then playing generous handing out two or three!! love that.
    Great looking cookies, your pictures give me a christmassy feeling already.

  6. Just between you and me Lien... for a while he ate "apple pears" no problem. Until one of his brothers entered the room and said: hey Mom you got pears? Yum! The look upon his face; these are pears not apple pears? He never touched a pear again to this day. So yes I can totally feel you !!

  7. You just got to love those BOYS - young and old!
    In ice cream! Woow Nelly, yes, that will do for tonight! ... if I can wait that long.

  8. Your Mom tricks made me remember and smile. I had to puree all beans, and passed rabbit as "chicken" for my picky daughter (who is a chef by now).
    Your cookies look very appetizing - even with the mysterious ingredient "keukenstroop"! (does it mean "kitchen syrup"?)
    Happy holidays!

  9. I love these kind of ginger cookies - especially when they are particularly chewy with the little cracks on top. Thank you for the reminder that these are a must for Christmas; I have a list of the cookies that I should make. Ginger snaps were missing until now.

    This year, I've decided to make zillions of kinds but to make very small cookies and just do half or quarter recipes. (Ha. Wish me luck with that!)


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