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Chewy ginger cookies sparkle on cookie tray

Thursday, December 11, 2003

By Arlene Burnett, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Edna L. Henrich of Troy Hill sent Kitchen Mailbox this letter: "I am quite a cookie fan -- who isn't? -- but my favorite cookies are the Ginger Cookies sold at Kaufmann's Bakery. They're not a ginger snap; they're soft and chewy and dark with molasses. I'd love to know how to make them! Does anyone have the recipe?"

 

In response, we received a letter and recipe from Susie Dorich of McKeesport: "I have a recipe for Giant Ginger Cookies that might just be what Edna Henrich is looking for. This recipe came from the December 1998 edition of Better Homes and Gardens. I have made these cookies many times, and they always please."

After testing this recipe, we can say that these are one of the best ginger cookies we have ever tasted. The cookies are just what Edna Henrich described -- soft and chewy. Before baking, the cookies are rolled in decorating or coarse sugar (found at most cake and candy supply stores), which gives the baked cookies a sparkly look -- perfect for a holiday cookie tray.

Look for more cookie recipes in the coming weeks.

GIANT GINGER COOKIES

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cups coarse sugar or decorating sugar (granulated sugar can be used as a substitute)

In a medium mixing bowl, stir flour, ginger, soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening until softened. Gradually add the 2 cups granulated sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs and molasses and beat well. Add half of the flour mixture; beat until combined. Stir in remaining flour mixture.

Using a 1/4-cup scoop (we used a 1/4-cup measuring cup), shape dough into 2-inch balls. Roll balls in the sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are light brown and puffed. Do not overbake or cookies will not be chewy.

Let stand for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool.

Makes about 25 4-inch cookies.

Note: The recipe suggested making the dough with shortening and not margarine or butter, for a chewy texture.

Requests

Joanne Bier of Houston, Pa., writes: "A relative was in for a recent family wedding. As we often do on these occasions, we talked about food favorites from the past."

Bier asked if anyone knew how to make Bohemian Plum Dumplings with bread-crumb topping and butter. The plums were Italian prune plums; the dumpling dough was light. They were boiled. Toasted bread crumbs and butter topped the dumplings.

There was also an open-face Italian plum coffee cake that she remembered from her childhood. Any information you might provide would be appreciated.


If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com . Please include a name, neighborhood/city/borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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