Wednesday, October 13, 2010

big soft ginger cookies

Back in 2006 in New York, my first host mother (remember, I was an Au Pair for two years) took me and the kids to NYC.
We strolled around and she showed me the city.
Not the tourist stuff, more the "insider places".
Somewhere near I think Washington Square Park (somehow I couldn't remember the name and just looking at Manhattan on google maps made me homesick) is/was a bakery and there she got us cappuccino and big soft ginger cookies.
This was thebest most delicious cookie I ever ate in my life.
For some reasons I never went back to that bakery even though I lived close to NYC for 14 more months.
I tried other cookies, ginger snaps, Mrs Fields cookies etc and they were good but not like THAT cookie I ate there.
I did eat other great cookies in the US though but this ginger cookie always was in the back of my head.
So fast forward 4 ½ years and here I sat, browsing recipes.
All of the sudden it popped in my mind to "look up ginger cookies".
And I did, and to no surprise I found a recipe.
Big soft ginger cookies by allrecipes.com.
Looking at the pictures the cookies looked like what I remembered and the ingredients did the rest to convince me.
So on Monday when I was off I went to work.
I thought I would mix the dough, do some batches (after all I only have a small oven) and be done.
Well, it turned out that I miscalculated. Big time!
The recipe says it makes 24 cookies.
So I did the first batch which was a story for itself.
If you read the recipe you know that you are supposed to "Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar."
Well, easier said than done because the molasses made for one sticky mess mass.
And it was a pain to shape anything out of it because it stuck to the fingers like crazy.
In the comment section somebody recommended spraying your fingers with cooking spray.
Since I am in Germany I have no such thing, so I "washed" my hands in oil and it worked for a while.

For the second sheet I used spoons to form and it worked a bit better.
After the first load came out of the oven I decided to decrease the walnuts to hazelnuts.

I figured having bite size cookies would just be easier.
Plus I would have more to share.
After I fiddled with spoons for a while I had THE idea.
Or so I thought.
I would just use an icing bag.
This worked pretty good except for the fact that I have only disposable ones and they are not so strong and so of course the first one burst open at some point.

But I didn't give up and produced sheet after sheet of those:


And in the end I ended up with this:

The big ones in the top corner are the size they should have according to the recipe.
But I think the outcome would still have been more than 24.
They taste ok but they are not soft and needless to say they don't taste like I wanted them to taste.
I am not sure but I might have added too much butter.
I used cups for all measurements except the butter.
For the butter I used the tool on the page that converts the measurements into metric and then used my kitchen scale.
IF I ever do them again I will use cups for the butter as well I think.

Those cookies are just another reason why I have to go back to the States one day. :)

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