gingersnaps

President's Cookies

Before there was such a thing as President's Day or President's Week, there was Washington's birthday, which was a school holiday on his real birthday, February 22nd. If you lived in the North, like in New York and Connecticut, you also got a day off on Lincoln's birthday, which is February 12th (the poor kids in the South weren't so lucky, although maybe they got Jefferson Davis' birthday off).

On Washington's birthday, everybody celebrated with cherry pie or cherry something else because supposedly Washington chopped down a cherry tree and didn't lie about it when someone asked if he did it.

Lincoln's birthday didn't have any particular food because he supposedly was a fussy eater and didn't like much of anything in particular.

At some point Mondays became an official holiday for most holidays and Washington and Lincoln's birthdays were merged into one big celebration and an entire week vacation from school.

I suppose that's progress.

Along the way, I discovered that Lincoln actually did have some favorite foods. Like sorghum, which is a sweet syrup similar to molasses. And he liked ginger cookies.

And so, in honor of Lincoln's birthday (which was on February 12th but will be celebrated on the 19th), whenever you celebrate and for how long, here's some sorghum-based ginger cookies to celebrate with. And by the way, if you don't have sorghum, you can use molasses instead.

 

Sorghum Ginger Cookies

  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 laarge egg
  • 1/4 cup sorghum syrup
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the shortening, coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and sorghum syrup and beat until well blended. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and beat until the dough is well blended, smooth and uniform in color. Take off small pieces of dough and shape into small balls about one-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in the remaining sugar to coat the surface. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving an inch space between each ball. Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until the cookies have spread and are flat and crispy, with lines on the surface.

Makes about 6 dozen

 

Gluten-free Gingersnaps

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about  sorghum syrup for The Jewish Week  and mentioned that this sweetener (which was very popular before cheap, refined sugar came along) was gluten-free.  
 But then I gave a recipe for sorghum-sweetened gingersnaps and unfortunately the cookies were not gluten-free. 
 That was a mistake!  
 So here it is, a completely gluten-free recipe for gingersnaps. I like these even better than the original recipe. They are somewhat softer that regular gingersnaps. 

  

  Gluten-free Gingersnaps  
     
  3/4 cup vegetable shortening  
  1/4 cup coconut oil  
  1 cup sugar  
  1 egg  
  1/4 cup sorghum syrup  
  1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
  1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour  
  3/4 cup coconut flour  
  1/4 cup quinoa flour  
  1 tablespoon baking soda  
  1/4 teaspoon salt  
  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
  3/4 teaspoon ground ginger  
  3/4 teaspoon ground cloves  
  1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg  
  2 tablespoons sugar  
     
  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the shortening, coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined. Add the egg, sorghum syrup and vanilla extract and beat until well blended. Add the gluten-free flour, coconut flour and quinoa flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and beat until the dough is well blended, smooth and uniform in color. Scoop mounded tablespoons of the dough and place them on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving an inch space between each piece (you will have to repeat or use several cookie sheets). Sprinkle the dough lightly with sugar. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until the cookies have spread and are flat and crispy, with lines on the surface.   
  Makes about 60  

  

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about sorghum syrup for The Jewish Week and mentioned that this sweetener (which was very popular before cheap, refined sugar came along) was gluten-free. 

But then I gave a recipe for sorghum-sweetened gingersnaps and unfortunately the cookies were not gluten-free.

That was a mistake! 

So here it is, a completely gluten-free recipe for gingersnaps. I like these even better than the original recipe. They are somewhat softer that regular gingersnaps.

Gluten-free Gingersnaps

 

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup sorghum syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup quinoa flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the shortening, coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined. Add the egg, sorghum syrup and vanilla extract and beat until well blended. Add the gluten-free flour, coconut flour and quinoa flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and beat until the dough is well blended, smooth and uniform in color. Scoop mounded tablespoons of the dough and place them on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving an inch space between each piece (you will have to repeat or use several cookie sheets). Sprinkle the dough lightly with sugar. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until the cookies have spread and are flat and crispy, with lines on the surface.

Makes about 60

 

Gingersnaps

Does Santa bring Hanukkah gifts?  A few years ago I was driving my granddaughter Lila home from preschool and I heard her tiny little voice say “you know grandma, I want Santa Claus to get me something for Hanukkah. He’s coming to town, don’tcha know?”  Wow, how do you keep yourself from chuckling at a statement like that?  And also, what do you say to a 2-1/2-year old kid from a Jewish family that doesn’t celebrate Christmas?  And also, I’m only the grandma. This is best left to the parents isn’t it? The old Jewish December Dilemma about what to tell your children about why we don’t have a tree or stockings or even Santa Claus.  But Lila’s question was a little different. She already knew that her family celebrates Hanukkah, not Christmas. She just placed Santa into the event. You know, the menorah, the latkes, the driedels and Santa.  I know all these issues get worked out in every family. Parents tell their children about Hanukkah/Christmas in the way that’s comfortable for them and at the age they feel it appropriate for their kids. I was just surprised it came up this way with Lila and at that age, because I suspected her parents hadn’t gotten to that yet.  When I asked Lila who told her that Santa comes on Hanukkah she said it was her nanny, who is Hindu.  Anyway, it’s 3 years later and all those issues are behind us. Lila and all my other grandchildren are thrilled with the 8-day Hanukkah celebration with its candles and chocolate coins and potato pancakes and gifts. And cookies too. We bake cookies at my house. Not to leave by the fireplace for Santa, but for us to all enjoy with a glass of milk.   Gingersnaps   1 cup vegetable shortening  1 cup sugar  1 egg  1/4 cup molasses  2 cups all-purpose flour  1 tablespoon baking soda  1/4 teaspoon salt  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  3/4 teaspoon ground ginger  3/4 teaspoon ground cloves  1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg  3 tablespoons sugar  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the shortening and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well blended. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and beat until the dough is well blended, smooth and uniform in color. Take off small pieces of dough and shape into small balls about one-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in the remaining sugar to coat the surface. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving an inch space between each ball. Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until the cookies have spread and are flat and crispy, with lines on the surface. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 6 dozen

Does Santa bring Hanukkah gifts?

A few years ago I was driving my granddaughter Lila home from preschool and I heard her tiny little voice say “you know grandma, I want Santa Claus to get me something for Hanukkah. He’s coming to town, don’tcha know?”

Wow, how do you keep yourself from chuckling at a statement like that?

And also, what do you say to a 2-1/2-year old kid from a Jewish family that doesn’t celebrate Christmas?

And also, I’m only the grandma. This is best left to the parents isn’t it? The old Jewish December Dilemma about what to tell your children about why we don’t have a tree or stockings or even Santa Claus.

But Lila’s question was a little different. She already knew that her family celebrates Hanukkah, not Christmas. She just placed Santa into the event. You know, the menorah, the latkes, the driedels and Santa.

I know all these issues get worked out in every family. Parents tell their children about Hanukkah/Christmas in the way that’s comfortable for them and at the age they feel it appropriate for their kids. I was just surprised it came up this way with Lila and at that age, because I suspected her parents hadn’t gotten to that yet.

When I asked Lila who told her that Santa comes on Hanukkah she said it was her nanny, who is Hindu.

Anyway, it’s 3 years later and all those issues are behind us. Lila and all my other grandchildren are thrilled with the 8-day Hanukkah celebration with its candles and chocolate coins and potato pancakes and gifts. And cookies too. We bake cookies at my house. Not to leave by the fireplace for Santa, but for us to all enjoy with a glass of milk.

Gingersnaps

1 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the shortening and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well blended. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and beat until the dough is well blended, smooth and uniform in color. Take off small pieces of dough and shape into small balls about one-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in the remaining sugar to coat the surface. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving an inch space between each ball. Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until the cookies have spread and are flat and crispy, with lines on the surface. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 6 dozen