The holidays definitely snuck up on me this year. As they do every year, but still. I perpetually procrastinate decorating the house, buying presents and really getting into the Christmas spirit until about halfway though the month and then scramble at the last minute to get everything done. Every year I keep telling myself to start earlier, make more lists and manage my time better but old habits die hard.
We are flying back to Illinois for Christmas so we decided to forgo some of our usual traditions, which has eased the holiday stress just a bit. Instead of chopping down our own tree in the wilderness of Tahoe, we put up a light-up twig tree from Target. There are no stockings, no ornaments, and no lights on the house which, at times, I feel slight pangs of guilt about. However, it’s actually a win-win because I’m not playing hide-and-seek with ornaments that my 2 year old would definitely hide and he still LOVES the lights on his twig tree. So as long as he’s happy, he won’t know the difference. This year.
However, there is one tradition I am keeping alive and it’s baking cookies for family to celebrate the holidays. It’s my way of sending some homemade love across the country. Usually I make white chocolate peppermint cookies with vanilla salt and they’re such a hit. Their flavor screams Christmas and though they’re delicious sometimes the chocolate/peppermint combination can be a little overwhelming.
So I’ve also decided to throw in these thin and chewy gingersnaps to change things up a bit. I’ve made one batch and about four more to go. The cookie tins have been purchased so I really am trying to take steps to get over this procrastination hump. Now it’s just a matter of sending them out before I actually leave for Illinois!
My little helper was trying to grab a cookie and run but when he realized I was actually taking pictures, he gave me his best hand model pose.
Though these cookies are thin, they are rich with the flavor of molasses and cinnamon and ginger, just as they should be. Coated in a thin layer of turbinado sugar, the crunch of the first bite gives way to a chewy center. Since chocolate and peppermint saturate the season, I love these gingersnaps as a deviation from the norm.
thin ‘n chewy gingersnaps
These gingersnaps are a perfect holiday cookie addition. Though they are best warm from the oven, they also make great cookie sandwiches. I used a cranberry-vanilla curd that I’ll be posting soon, but your favorite jam would work beautifully as well!
(makes about 18 cookies)
- 12 tbs (1½ sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup natural cane sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine-grain sea salt
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- cranberry-vanilla curd, optional
Preheat oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat butter and natural cane sugar in a large mixing bowl on medium speed util well combined, about a minute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. With mixer still running, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until smooth.
Place turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, roll dough balls between palms until uniform in size. Then lightly roll the dough balls in the turbinado sugar. Arrange 12 dough balls on prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart; then flatten each cookie ball to ¼ inch thick. They will spread as they bake so you want to make sure they aren’t too close together.
Bake 8-12 minutes, until fragrant and cracks appear on the top. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow the cookies to cool, undisturbed, for at least 10 minutes. They will harden as they cool.
If making cookie sandwiches with the cranberry-vanilla curd (or your favorite jam), assemble only as many as you will eat in a few hours since they will get soggy otherwise. Dry cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to a month- if they last that long!