Sunday, October 16, 2016

Stratford Hall Ginger Cookies

    Many different ginger cookies have come out of my oven, but this recipe is one that I keep coming back to. It's a chewy ginger cookie rather than a snap, and it partners as perfectly with a nice cold glass of milk as it does with a cup of hot tea or spiced cider. We like these spicy treats year round at my house, but when fall rolls around it just seems wrong not to have them in the cookie jar.

     The recipe hails from a local landmark, Stratford Hall Plantation. Stratford is the ancestral home of four generations of the Lee family of Virginia (including two signers of The Declaration of Independence), and Birthplace of General Robert E. Lee. The cookies are a tradition at their Candlelight tour at Christmas time, and many folks look forward to sampling their gingery goodness.

     We prefer the cookies on the chewy side, but if you'd rather have more of a hard ginger snap perfect for dunking, just forget leave the cookies in the oven for a bit longer. Either way, they'll be grand! :)

Stratford Hall Ginger Cookies
printable recipe available here
1 1/2 cups butter, melted (3 sticks)
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
granulated sugar (for coating balls of dough)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together melted butter, molasses and sugar.
  • Add eggs and mix until combined.
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until all flour is incorporated.
  • Refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
  • Roll walnut-sized balls of dough in granulated sugar.
  • Place on parchment covered baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, or until set and lightly browned. If you want a crispier cookie like a ginger snap, just let them stay in the oven a bit longer. If you want a softer cookie, bake until just set.
  • Cool on the cookie sheet a couple of minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  • Yield: about 5 dozen

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Vanilla Salted Peanut Cookies

     It's cookie time! It's been a long time since this little space has gotten any attention, but after these cookies came out of the oven I knew I had to share them. Who can resist chunky vanilla oatmeal cookies loaded with salty peanuts and white chocolate? Think PayDay candy bars, only with a little crunch around the edges instead of the chew. I didn't think of it until after I made these, but I think a little sprinkle of Fleur de Sel on top would make them extra special.

    School has been keeping me extra busy these days, but I'm going to try to make time to share some of my old and new favorite cookies in time for the holidays. Hope to see you soon!


Vanilla Salted Peanut Cookies
from The Baking Sheet (King Arthur Flour) Spring 2013

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups salted peanuts
1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Cream together butter, shortening and brown sugar.
  • Mix in the eggs, oats, and vanilla
  • Whisk baking soda into flour
  • Incorporate flour mixture into the butter/oat mixture
  • Mix in peanuts and white chocolate
  • Scoop by Tablespoons (I used a medium sized scoop) onto parchment covered baking sheets.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges. (Longer baking times make a crunchier cookie, if that's what you prefer.)
  • Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  • Yield: about 4 1/2 dozen cookies

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