I made Nancy Baggett’s Ginger Spice Crinkles last night, intending to enjoy 1 before bed. It was a somewhat stormy night when I went to bed, thunder rumbling in the distance. Radar showed a lot of red, but I was not convinced it would hit us–which I thought was too bad because boy do we need rain. I fell asleep around 1 am.
I woke up at 2 am to water hitting me in the head.
After waking up John and scrambling for towels to halt the torrential downpour coming in at the top of my window, at which point the water abruptly halted, we fixed what we thought was the problem. I ate a cookie. We rotated the bottom sheet so I was not sleeping in a wet patch. I eventually fell back asleep.
I woke up at 3 am to water hitting me in the head. Again.
This time we had to move the bed (it is a king sized bed and the frame is broken so this was more difficult than it sounds) and fold the laundry in the dryer so that the fitted sheet could go through the dryer (we had just changed sheets and some sheets are still packed, so I had no clean sheets). I ate another cookie, and we got back to bed close to 4 am.
At 6 am I woke up again to water flying at me–although this time it did not hit me at least. The crack in the wall that it is coming from is such that the torrential downpour outside was gushing through it horizontally, so just because it did not hit me, we could not ignore it. By then John had to get up and go to work, poor guy. OK this time I did not eat a cookie. The landlord is coming later to look at it.
At 7:40 am Alex got into my bed–for those of you wondering this is still way early for me. At 7:45 Sammy started crying. I brought her to bed also, which I never expected to work, but it was clear she was not feeling well, and she fell asleep in my arms.
We got up at 9:45 am, at which point I gave Sammy some Tylenol for a fever and a glass of water while I got her cereal ready. While I was walking their breakfasts over to both kids, Sammy violently threw up all of the water and Tylenol.
I smuggled a cookie for breakfast.
So in the space of time I would normally have eaten 1 cookie, I ate, er, a lot.
At least these cookies were worth it. Growing up, my family made this fabulous old family recipe (and still makes, regularly, I should say) for gingersnaps. I learned as an adult it is a misnomer, not what people think of as gingersnaps at all really, because they are thick, and, in many people’s preferences (sorry, Mom!) chewy. I never really explored that style of cookie beyond that recipe because I was happy with it.
On a whim last night, however, I decided to try this similar but not at all the same recipe from Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Cookie Book, for Ginger Spice Crinkles. I love my great grandmother’s recipe so much I thought there was no way I would like this one as well, but it might be fun to try.
I was wrong.
Pick your jaw up off the floor, Mom. 🙂 These cookies are thin and soft-chewy, yet somehow crispy also. The hint of orange is beguiling–in Baggett’s shoes I would have named them Spice Crinkles Kissed By Orange or something like that. They are less robust and more delicate than my family’s gingersnaps, making them a great segue into fall. I was going to send them into John’s work–but I like them too much and they are staying right here, especially since Baggett says they should last 10 days in an air-tight container.
Ginger Spice Crinkles
Adapted from Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Cookie Book
2 cups (252 g) AP flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 t ground ginger
1 t nutmeg
1 1/4 t cinnamon
1 heaping t cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup white vegetable shortening (I use Earth Balance)
3/4 cup plus 2 T light brown sugar
2 1/2 T dark molassess (not blackstrap)
1 large egg
1/2 t orange zest
granulated white sugar for rolling cookies in
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the cooking rack in the upper third of your oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and shortening until blended. Add the sugar and molasses, scrape the bowl, and cream until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the egg and orange zest until smooth. Beat in half of the flour mixture, and then stir the second half in. Chill the dough until it has firmed up, about 20 minutes or more if needed.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in the granulated sugar. Place the sugar-coated cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet about 2 1/2 inches apart (I did 4 rows of 3, which was perfect). Using your hand, pat the tops of the balls down slightly.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of your oven. Rotate them halfway through. The cookies will take 8-11 minutes and are done when they are barely firm in the centers and the edges begin to brown. Let the cookies stand on the sheet for 1-2 minutes; then slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack and let them finish cooling on the rack.
Let stand until completely cooled, and store in an air tight container.