Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cookie Conundrum...

Child Number Three, aged three, loves to bake. There is absolutely nothing that she enjoys more than donning her tiny little Mennonite-style apron, pushing a chair across the kitchen and positioning it in front of the counter, where she stands and helps me to carefully measure, pour and stir together just about any recipe. "The Messier, the Better" seems to be about her only unspoken guideline. This is a kid who is not afraid to get her hands dirty-- or anything else dirty, for that matter. She can stir and dump and roll and knead with the best of 'em. My kitchen usually looks as though a small hurricane has passed through it when we're done, and she is finally positioned on the same chair, only seated this time. She holds her favourite blanket, with a pacifier firmly planted in her mouth (the other thirteen are kept in her purse), and watches the baking through the oven window with the same kind of rapture that most kids her age watch "Dora The Explorer". She's generally a little flour-y, and definitely more than a little sticky by the end of the process, but no other activity satisfies her like a little productivity in the baking department.

One of our favourite recipes is for a soft ginger spice cookie, which I found in last year's November issue of Chatelaine Magazine. Wee Three loves it because there is plenty of hand-mixing involved, as well as rolling the dough into little balls. It's just like playdough, except it smells good, and you can actually EAT IT!! Best of all, however, before the little balls of cookie dough are placed on the baking sheet, each one is rolled in GRANULATED SUGAR. This is, without a doubt, my youngest daughter's favourite part of the entire recipe. She rolls those little suckers around with such incredible enthusiasm, the cookie dough balls are far from the only things that are completely coated with sugar by the end of the process.

About a week ago, we took an "assembly line" approach to ginger cookie-making. I rolled the dough, and then handed each little cookie ball to Wee Three, who did her usual job of the sugaring. She then placed each cookie onto a baking sheet, ready for the oven. It wasn't until after we had finished, and she was settling herself on her chair in front of the oven window, that I noticed a little "bald" stripe down the middle of each sugared cookie-dough ball. The bald patches weren't all on the tops of the dough balls-- some were on the sides as well. I didn't think much of it, and figured that she just hadn't done her usual, practically-perfect job in our haste to get the recipe completed (we had company arriving, and still had the rest of the house to tidy up, as well). I just shrugged, and put the baking sheets into the oven.

It wasn't until we were actually SERVING the cookies to our friends about an hour later, when Child Number Three offered her four-year-old cohort a "Lick-it Cookie", that I came to the horrifying realization what that little "bald patch" on the cookie dough balls had actually BEEN... My little Christer of a daughter had licked nearly every. single. one. before placing them on the baking sheet.

My visitor, who is a dear friend, a mother, AND a family physician, laughed hysterically when I snatched the plate off the table, and explained why we would be having cheese-and-crackers for our tea as an alternative... She insisted on eating the "Lick-it Cookies" ANYWAY, and assured me that any evil cooties my daughter may have transferred would have been eradicated during the cooking process... All I can say is: Dr. Gummy, babe, you're a brave woman, one HELL of a scientist, and an even BETTER pal. xoxo

So, here, dear readers, is my recipe for "Lick-it" cookies... Enjoy them warm, with a big glass of milk. Or, what the heck. Forget about the baking and just lick 'em instead.

Ginger Spice Cookies

2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar

1. Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray or coat 2 baking sheets with oil (*I use parchment paper on the baking sheets first, then spray the paper*). In a medium bowl, using a fork, stir flour with baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, beat the egg. Then beat in oil and molasses. Beat in brown sugar until evenly mixed. Gradually stir in flour mixture until well mixed.

2. Place granulated sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off about 1 tbsp dough and roll into a ball. Then roll in granulated sugar until evenly coated. Place on baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough, placing balls at least 2 inches apart.

3. Bake on two racks in preheated oven, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies begin to crack and set around the edges, about 7 to 10 minutes total. Remove baking sheets to a rack. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days, or freeze up to 1 month.


ewe are here said...

The recipe sounds yummy. And fun.

And, well, I agree with your friend ... the baking in a hot oven would have killed all the germs at that point. :-)

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Yum, yum! They were delish--thanks so much for bringing them to us yesterday. We had such fun and I cannot wait to bake these with the bunny!
I forgot to ask you--why "CandyGirlFlies"?

Beck said...

and honestly, I fear NOTHING after it's been baked in the oven. It's HOT in there!

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

I just got a cookie craving!

painted maypole said...

mmmm.. I would have eaten them, too, licks and all

rev. shawn said...

Hmmm ... sounds like something that happened at the Prairie Preacher's house ...

we were using my Grandma E's Ginger Snap cookie recipe, and I noticed later that the cookies were strangely bare of sugar ...

A little sluething revealed that Ms H had done the SAME thing ... I think it's hard wired in to them ...

Gotta love 'em !!

Web Analytics