Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ginger Muffin Caps

When one thinks of the Middle East, they probably think of things like, the heat, the sun, camels and, unfortunately, uprisings. In my experience so far, the only thing that rings true is the amount of sun. But, it's cold here! Like, colder than San Francisco this time of year. The wind whips through our valley, and whistles at our windows in the late evenings. Though the temperature isn't all that low (about 48 degrees during the day), it still is bone chilling. This I didn't expect.

So, I've shot into winter cooking mode. Our table has featured things like maple syrup roasted butternut squash, stuffed peppers, and baked potatoes. The dish that was really missing, though, was gingerbread. When I think of December, my mind immediately settles on an image of perfectly golden, moist and chewy gingerbread. When my husband requested ginger snaps yesterday, I realized I had the perfect compromise: molasses ginger chew cookies.

The grocery store is an experience in itself here, particularly because I don't speak Hebrew. I managed to find dark brown sugar, but to my chagrin, no molasses. I waltzed back home with my bags of groceries, and set into making a batch of cookies from an online recipe by Paula Deen that had great reviews. Of course, I couldn't quite follow her recipe ... I substituted out the oil for apple sauce, put half the sugar in, added a dollop of honey for some stickiness, chopped in some candied ginger, and competely skipped the whole part about rolling the dough in sugar and placing perfect balls on the baking sheet so that it "looks just like the Starbucks cookies."

What I ended up with was incredibly delicious, but really nothing resembling a cookie, except perhaps in basic shape. They're more like whoopie pies or muffin caps. Or, gingerbread in cookie form. Perhaps this is what happens when you have gingerbread on the brain when you're trying to make cookies.

These are actually delicious. They're a little sticky and get pleasantly glued to your fingertips as you eat them. They'd go very well with a little bit of vanilla ice cream.
Here's the recipe:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 egg
3/4 cup applesauce or plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the brown sugar and applesauce/yogurt together until well combined. Add the egg, and the honey.

In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together and combine. 
Add the dry to the wet ingredients, and mix until well incorporated. Add the candied ginger. 

Spoon onto the cookie sheets with a tablespoon, make sure they're spaced at least two inches apart. This should yield about 12 large cookies. Bake for about 14 minutes, then take out to cool for a bit, and when they're cool enough to the touch, remove the cookies from the sheet and place on a wire rack.

Bon appetit!

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