I've done a decent amount of traveling in the lesser-developed world. One thing that never ceases to amaze my family and I is my knack for winding up in situations that require medical attention. Aside from broken arms, facial swelling, head bumps and malaria, I have had my share of stomach bugs. To be more concise, no matter how careful I am, I always end up consuming some sort of bacteria or virus that results in pure pain. One of the things that has always gotten me through these episodes and their lingering effects have been gingersnap cookies. I have had Kenyan, Tanzanian, Chilean, Lao and Cambodian gingersnaps. They have been big, small, chewy, crispy, mild, spicy -- you name it, I have had it. Regardless of the cookie's characteristics, the impact of ginger on an upset stomach was miraculous.
Even though I tend to associate gingersnaps with my bad luck, I still crave them when I'm feeling well. This brings me to today's recipe. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart's cookie book. Once they cool, they are pretty crispy, but I think they could use a touch bit more ginger. This might be because I prefer my cookies a bit more spicy than most. My mother also didn't care for the sugar on top, but she has no clue what she is talking about. Anyway, enjoy!
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (if you want a richer cookie, or don’t want to purchase this oddity, you can substitute for ½ a stick of butter)
2 cups sugar (separate out 1 cup for rolling dough in)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger (1 tablespoon of freshly ground ginger would be a spicier substitute)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (molasses would work too)
1 large egg, beaten
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees with one rack positioned in center of oven; line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, shortening, and 1 cup sugar on medium speed. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.
3. Add maple syrup to butter mixture; beat to combine. Beat in egg until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly add the reserved flour mixture, a little at a time, until well blended.
4. Place remaining cup sugar in a bowl. Measure 2 teaspoons dough; roll into a ball. Roll dough in sugar; transfer to sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 3 inches apart. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes.
5. Place on wire rack and let cool.