Riffling through my files, I found an article clipped from an August 1982 issue of Family Circle called “Best Cookies from the Best Bakeries.” Instantly, it became a matter of which cookie out of a tempting bunch to try, and I decided on “Cousin Helen Heavenrich’s Lemon Ginger Cookies.” Well, may the angels sing to Cousin Helen, wherever she may be, because these cookies are so melt-in the mouth good. If you have ever baked gingerbread or gingersnaps that are hard, not crispy, try this recipe. They are buttery, gingery, and lemony all at the same time, with crispy edges and a just slightly soft center.
A suggestion: Keep this cookie in mind for Christmas, which is barreling down on us like a runaway locomotive. A small, beribboned cellophane bag of these cookies would make a delightful gift for friends and neighbors.
Lemon Ginger Cookies
2-1/2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the sifted flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat the softened butter with the brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and again beat until fluffy. Stir in the molasses and grated lemon rind. Stir in the flour mixture, half at a time. Finish by kneading slightly, to make sure all flour is incorporated.
Roll dough into balls, one level tablespoon at a time, and then roll in the granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. They will puff up, and then deflate, with cracks, when they are done. Do not overbake. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Shown below: grated lemon rind (from one lemon), adding the rind and molasses to the dough, the dough ready for forming, how much dough to measure for each cookie, and rolling dough in sugar. Also, my favorite china–it’s for children, and I only have three pieces, but I love it!
Baking notes: Be sure to sift your flour. This isn’t necessary for all recipes, but it is for this one. To do this, you must measure twice. Measure out your flour, and sift it onto a large piece of waxed paper. Then, pour back into the measuring cup(s). You will probably have a bit of flour left on the waxed paper, because aerated flour takes up more space. This is a bit of a pain in the neck, but it will guarantee light, crisp cookies. Also, I used light brown sugar, and it was fine.
A Painted Lady Butterfly
Last week was dry and hot, this week is crisp and cool, after a weekend of rain. This is by way of saying that I took these photos of a painted lady butterfly last week, when it was hot and summery, which seems ages ago. Suddenly, now it’s fall! The genus of painted ladies is Vanessa, a lovely name for a lovely butterfly.