I always planned to make my own wedding cake(s) but my family strongly encouraged me not to and when the guest list topped 250 I agreed that it wasn’t the best idea. Instead, I’m just baking cookies for a couple of events during the wedding weekend. It’s been nice to keep my hands and mind occupied with butter and flour for the last few days.
I decided to try some new recipes and to make some old favorites for the wedding cookie endeavor. The first recipe, Maxine’s Gingersnaps from Norway, comes from my paternal Grandmother, Maxine who I was lucky to get to know for 26 years. Despite living far away in Minnesota, she always made time to see us; she loved to fly south in the cold winter months. She passed down to me her love of cooking, vaccuming (truly) and my blonde hair and fair skin. I wish she could be there to see me get married at Duke. She was a huge Duke basketball fan, and would love that I’m marrying a good Midwestern man. When I walk down the aisle I’ll be wearing the pearl and diamond ring she gave me on my right hand.
I’ve always loved Grandma Maxine’s gingersnap recipe which allegedly comes from our Norwegian ancestors. Don’t be deterred because her recipe calls for shortening and don’t substitute butter (it won’t work – I’ve tried.) The only change I’ve made to Maxine’s original recipe is to sub ginger paste for powdered ginger. Maxine’s gingersnaps are thin, chewy, spicy and so so good even if mine never taste quite as good as hers did.
What to buy:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bourbon or vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
What to do:
- cream shortening, sugar, molasses and egg by hand or mixer until light and fluffy about 4 to 5 minutes
- combine dry ingredients and add to shortening mixture, stirring just until mixed
- chill dough for an hour to make it easier to handle and keep it from spreading too much in the oven
- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- roll dough into small, 1-2 inch balls and dip each ball into a bowl of white sugar, rolling to coat evenly
- place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet
- bake for 8-10 minutes until middles are set, the secret is not to over-bake and to store in a container with a slice of white bread to keep cookies soft