En español | My husband, David, is pure Scandinavian: His late mother was Norwegian, his father is Swedish. Throughout her life, his mother baked all the traditional motherland favorites — molasses bread and cookies, sweet rolls, kringla. These treats, which they dubbed "something for the left hand," were companions for the many cups of coffee and conversations they enjoyed around their kitchen table.
David and I love coffee, too, but we have a different ritual. Twice a day — once in the early morning and again late in the afternoon — we take time to brew a cup of tea. With our early-morning cup, we enjoy a little fruit, but with our afternoon cup, we like a little "something for the left hand." This week I've developed a sweet I know my mother-in-law would have appreciated: Crisp-Chewy Ginger Cookies.
Perhaps, like us, you'll find that the daily cups of tea and a little something for the left hand keep you in good spirits, and offer time to relax with those you love.
Crisp-Chewy Ginger Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons very soft butter
- 1 cup sugar, plus a little extra for dredging
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves in a medium bowl; set aside.
Whisk oil, butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in molasses, then egg; stir into dry ingredients.
Form dough into 2-tablespoon portions and dredge in a little extra sugar, if you like. Set cookies about 2-1/2 inches apart. (Figure about 8 cookies per 18-by-12-inch baking sheet.)
Bake until puffed slightly, golden brown around the edges, and starting to crackle, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet to set up slightly, a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for as long as a week.
AARP food expert Pam Anderson is a best-selling cookbook author and blogger at threemanycooks.com.