Dinner with friends on Sunday in Yarmouth with Ben and Carrie Yardley kicked up this dandy recipe for delicious ginger cookies — crisp on the outside and a little chewy on the inside. Plus, it’s a great idea for making ahead and baking later.
I certainly have moments when I think a cookie would be just the ticket to go with tea and company or to slide alongside some custard or ice cream. Mixing them up is easy enough, usually, but sometimes the idea of having a bunch of dough to form into cookies, then bake off with waits between oven loads, and cookies strewn around the kitchen cooling — it is ridiculous, I suppose — just seems like too much, like a project.
Sunday night, after we had our main course, my friend Ben disappeared into the kitchen with some of the dirty dishes and before long I could smell gingery odors. In a few minutes, he returned to the table with lemon sorbet and a plate of freshly baked cookies. What Ben and Carrie do is mix up these cookies, roll them into balls and then in sugar, then put them on a baking pan to freeze. When they have turned into rocks, they knock them into a sealed plastic bag and toss them back into the freezer. Anytime they feel like a batch of cookies, they take out only what they need and bake them.
It is convenience food. The Yardleys have a recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that they do a similar make ahead and bake later trick with.
You can make life even easier and mix a double batch — one mixing, twice as many cookies. I suspect there are quite a few other cookies that would refrigerate or freeze well to bake as needed, sliced off a log or made into preshaped balls or chunks. You could experiment with your favorites. If you do, let me know, would you?
Makes 4 dozen
⅔ cup canola or other vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
Sugar for dipping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat together oil, sugar, egg and molasses. Sift together the flour, baking soda and spices and add them to the oil and sugar mixture. Form into 1-inch balls between your hands, and roll in sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or freeze the balls on a baking sheet and store in a bag or container for use later.
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