Ginger & Snap

by Julie

We had our annual holiday cookie party at work the other night. The event, coupled with the surprising cold snap we’ve experienced the last few days in Tucson, drove me to make gingersnaps.

Ginger cookies always remind me of my college housemate, Kate. She gave me my first ginger cookie recipe, and we used to bake them together around this time of year in Washington state. The cookies were soft and pillowy, cake-like. But what I liked best was how Kate never shied away from the ginger. Spice was a good thing, and more spice, even better.

I can’t describe Kate without saying she has spice to her. A certain fire in her belly; a kick-start reaction to discovery–engagement with the world. There’s a hunger to the way she goes about it, a hunger I haven’t seen in many people since.

I like my gingersnaps to be crunchier than the ones Kate showed me how to make. But I can’t start a batch of these cookies without thinking back to sharing a plate of them, hot out of the oven, with Kate over a cups of tea.

(fresh out of the oven)

I cheated a bit this time around, and experimented with a gluten-free shortbread mix from Bob’s Red Mill. I wanted that hard, crunchy texture shortbread offers, and wasn’t disappointed.

First, here’s how the recipe on the back of the package reads:

1 whole package Bob’s Red Mill Shortbread Cookie Mix

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter or buttery spread cut into 8 pieces

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons water

Now, here’s what I did to adjust for Gluten-free, Vegan Gingersnaps:

(You’ll want to preheat the oven to 375F, then line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.)

I poured out the cookie mix into a large mixing bowl.

In a food processor, I blended 3/4 cup Earth Balance with 1/2 cup organic, unsulphured molasses, one teaspoon vanilla, two tablespoons water, and one heaping teaspoon of ground ginger.

Then I poured the food processor mix over the dry ingredients and blended the two together. At first, the dough was a bit too dry, so I mixed in another teaspoon or two of water.

I rolled very small balls from the dough, flattened them between my palms, and placed them about 1-inch apart on the cookie sheet. They baked for 12 minutes, and I cooled them completely on a cooling rack.

The end result was just what I wanted, and the ultimate compliment came the day after the party, when a volunteer told me that after taking home a plateful of cookies to her husband, he declared the gingersnap the best of the lot.

(Thanks, Kate.)