I spent this evening in the warm embrace of Leonard Cohen. By which I mean I was among hundreds of other people at his concert in London, Ontario. I don’t suppose he really noticed me, but all the same, it felt like he was singing just for me.
I think Leonard would like these ginger snaps. They’re sultry cookies … a little spicy, a little mellow with a soft centre and a crisply textured edge, presented with a touch of flair. A perfect nibble when listening to the man himself.
I wrote about these last year in a post called Spicy Sweet Crisp Chewy. A guest had brought them for Christmas and I adored them, but mine didn’t turn out with the same richly chewy result. I’ve discovered the reason. Last year I substituted margarine for the butter. (Something tells me Leonard would not approve.) I don’t like using margarine at all, but was accommodating a dairy sensitivity. This year I’ve been making them with butter, and they’re everything I dream about in a ginger snap: a molasses-dark chewy centre surrounded by crispness and the crunch and bling that comes from rolling them in cane sugar before baking. Like Leonard, mesmerizingly classy with a frisson of sexiness (pardon me, but I’ve got my crush on).
I think Leonard would approve. One taste of these and he just might be crooning “I’m Your Man” for me.
(With apologies to the Culinary Enthusiast.)
Sultry Gingersnaps for Leonard
This recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies. The recipe is the same as I posted last year, with the exception that butter is de rigueur and cane sugar is used for rolling instead of regular white sugar.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2-1/4 cups flour
- cane sugar for rolling
Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and molasses. Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture. Beat slowly until just incorporated.
Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes to one hour.
While the oven is preheating to 350° F, roll the dough into 1″ balls and then roll them in cane sugar to lightly coat. (My one tablespoon ice cream scoop is the perfect size for this.)
Place on cookie trays lined with parchment or a Silpat, and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the top cracks. Leave on the tray for one to two minutes before putting on a rack to cool.
Make-ahead tip: once the dough balls have been rolled in the sugar, you can freeze them on a baking sheet and then transfer to a freezer bag. When you want warm cookies, place them on the baking sheet while the oven heats and bake as per the instructions above.
There are about six dozen in my freezer right now, ready to be baked for our Christmas Open House this weekend. If Leonard rings the doorbell, I’ll be ready!