Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Snaps

I know not everyone feels the same, but I love Christmas. I really do... twinkle lights, family time, sweet baby Jesus. In my mind, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. To help spread my holiday cheer, I thought it would be fun to do a series on Gathered Heart called 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, where I've asked 12 of my favorite bloggers to share their favorite Christmas cookie recipe.

I thought I'd kick off this yummy series with a classic gingerbread cookie recipe from Emily, a dietitian and fellow Michigander. Both her tumblr and blog are full of healthy foodspiration and tons of simple recipes for tasty things like homemade Greek yogurt and ice cream sandwiches. Emily's posts always inspire me to be mindful about what I eat, and not in a "oh man I can never eat cookies again" way. I was actually thrilled that her cookie selection included lots of butter and sugar and not something like pureed beans. Emily's philosophy is balance and moderation, and I'm behind that 100%.

When Katherine asked me to do a post about my favorite Christmas cookies, she originally asked for a healthy cookie recipe. I think she was pleasantly surprised to learn that I don’t really believe in “healthy cookies.” I think all foods can be enjoyed in moderation, and to me, cookies just don’t taste the same unless full of delicious butter and sugar.

Ginger cookies definitely bring all the smells of the holidays together (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, etc) in one delicious treat. They also mix up in a hurry for a last minute party or house full of hungry family members.

Some tips: stick the dough in the freezer for 10-15 min instead of 2 hrs in the refrigerator to cut down on chill time. Also, ice cream scoops are great for making uniform cookies.

Christmas Snaps (adapted from My Kitchen Addiction
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened 
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses 
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
  • sprinkles 

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add molasses. Add dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated (side note: the proper method would be mixing dry ingredients together first and then adding to wet ingredients, but I like shortcuts). Chill dough for 2 hrs. Roll dough into balls and through raw sugar before placing on baking sheet. Bake for 11-12 minutes at 375 F.

While cookies are cooling, melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30s-1 minute, stirring often. Dip cooled cookies into melted chocolate and add festive sprinkles if desired.

Try not to eat them all at once! They are wonderful dipped in milk. You could also try using white chocolate instead of dark chocolate for an interesting twist.

Happy Holidays, and enjoy!

Don't they look delicious? Special thanks to Emily for participating. 
Check back soon for more 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!


Kate said...

Oh, yay! I was really looking forward to this first post... I haven't had ginger snaps in ages. Seems like now is the perfect time! :)

Pink Ronnie said...

Oooh... what a lovely idea! These will sure get me salivating. :)
Ronnie xo

Carrie said...

These look so good! My grocery cart may or may not be full of flour, sugar and molasses this week. :)

Keitha said...

sweet baby Jesus and cookies?!?! Perfect.

Emily said...

so glad to participate in the holiday cheer on gathered heart! :) looking forward to the rest of the series!