This is by far the most made recipe of the week. (And I just realized it’s only Wednesday.) I’ve cranked out dozens and dozens of these, starting with four batches with W’s grade one class on Monday afternoon, in preparation for their Christmas concert on Tuesday. The old sandstone school filled with the smell of baking cookies as we went up and down the stairs between classroom and staff room to bake sheet after sheet. And so yesterday there was a table of tea and homemade cookies outside the gymnasium for parents and kids to hang out and nibble before and after the performance.
If you’re a parent and have the opportunity to go help out in your kids’ classroom, and his or her teacher is up for an afternoon of baking, it may just be a few of the most rewarding hours you’ll ever spend. Some of the kids in W’s class had never cooked anything before. Rather than show up with premade dough to roll and cut, or prebaked cookies to decorate, I brought butter and eggs and flour and sugar and molasses and cinnamon and ginger, and printed out copies of this recipe – written out clearly, with simple steps. We talked about recipes and how they work – then talked about each ingredient and where it came from. Then there was measuring, learning about cups and spoons and halves and quarters of same. The kids were divided into four groups and did an amazing job following the instructions, measuring ingredients, cracking eggs, mixing and rolling balls of dough to bake. We talked about what happened in the oven, what made them rise and spread and turn from balls of dough into actual cookies. And at the end we sat around the tables and ate some while they were still warm. The kids took home their recipes and, eager to show their parents how they could bake from scratch themselves. (Of course some had kitchen experience already, but others hadn’t. I’m getting goosebumpy just thinking about it. Don’t wait for Jamie Oliver to show up at your school – get in there yourself. It’s amazing the impact you can make in an afternoon.
Later, I made more to boost quantities for the concert, and some may have wound up sandwiched with some leftover frosting. Try vanilla, cream cheese or lemon – just spread on a cooled cookie and top with another one.
This is the recipe we used:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until there are no lumps left.
2. Add the egg and molasses and mix together.
3. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir until you have cookie dough that is smooth and all one colour.
4. Roll the dough into balls about the size of a small strawberry. Put some sugar in a small dish, and roll each ball of cookie dough in the sugar.
5. Put the balls on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350?F for 12 minutes, until they are cracked and golden around the edges. Move them onto a wire rack to cool.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.