Monday, October 16, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Swedish Ginger Cookies

Page 166 in the old book / page 202 in the new book

The dough for these cookies handles like a dream. It is rolled at room temperature and is not at all sticky. It is a beautiful ebony color and smooth as silk when rolled. Rolling these cookies was almost like play. If only all rolled doughs were like this!

This recipe would be perfect to use with kids. It is what I would call "gingerbread", so it is perfect for decorating with raisins and candies, or with icing (Maida provides a royal icing recipe). And not only is the dough easy to roll, mixing it provides an entertaining chemistry lesson. Baking soda is added to a heated mixture of molasses and sugar. The alkaline baking soda reacts dramatically with the acidic mixture resulting in a thick caramel-colored foam that rises to the top of the pan.

I rolled the cookies a little under a quarter of an inch thick and got about 70 cookies (I think they were about 2 1/2 inches across). These can be rolled just about any thickness you'd like. They have equal amounts cinnamon and ginger and have a warm, spicy flavor. I liked them very much - though I'm certain I was biased by the fun I had making them!

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "If you are a fan of gingerbread cookies, then you will like this cookie. The heart shape was adorable, but very plain looking. I thought the cookie could use a powdered sugar glaze icing not only for taste, but to dress it up. Rating - 3.0"

Denny: "OK - don't like ginger too much. Minus 1 for no chocolate. Rating - 2.0"

Laura: "In a word: delicious! Lovely golden spice color. Light, crunchy texture. Fabulous "Ginger Cookie" flavor. Rating - 5.0"

Terri: "These ginger cookies taste as good as they look. The heart shape is very festive and the taste resembles a delicious ginger snap. I think these would be good alongside of a lemon bar. Very tasty. Rating - 3.5"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.4

Next Week - Viennese Almond Wafers

Nutrition Facts


Rowena said...

Run, run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me I'm a
Gingerbread Heart

Ok, so it doesn't rhyme but what you wrote and the comments from the panelists had me thinking of all things warm, spicy, and xmas-y!

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena - I had absolutely no recollection of that rhyme, so I searched for it in Amazon and found a couple books with that story and now I remember! Of course, I had to order a copy for my neice too! :) Thanks for jogging my memory!

Stephanie said...

Cathy, if you'd like a more 'grown-up' version, try the latest Jasper Fforde novel, The Fourth Bear; the Gingerbread Man figures rather prominently in that one!

And those cookies sound divine; I'll have to (someday) get around to making them for my guys.

Amy said...

Oh Cathy, those are beautiful! I love gingerbread, I can't wait to make them.

Anonymous said...

I have a general question for you. I occasionally read your blog, and I'm curious. Do you make the cookies from Maida's book because it is your favorite cookie book? I have a zillion (OK maybe not that many!!) books and I'm wondering, "Do I need this one, too?" Thanks!

Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie - oh my gosh, that sounds hysterical! I'd never heard of that series (or author) before. I'm trying to avoid buying new books for myself (yeah right - we'll see how long that lasts :) ), but I will keep an eye out for this in the library. Thanks!

Hi Amy - thanks! This really is a wonderful recipe. The dough just handles so well and the cookies taste great too!

Hi Lu! Yes, this is definitely my favorite cookie book and probably my favorite cookbook, period. I explain a little more here about what the book means to me and why I decided to start Mondays with Maida. And yes - you need this one too. ;)

Anonymous said...

Cathy, once again you've left such a provocative comment on the blog that I just had to come back and tell you that I LOVE chocolate with prawns. I've actually made it several times, but it's the first time with the panko. What I didn't mention is that I had made it for lunch, and when my husband reads that post at work, he's going to have something to say about it when he gets home! As in, "Where's me share?!" Haha!

Anonymous said...

Whoops... I meant where's MY share?! Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Cathy - OK, OK. I bought Maida's cookie book - grin. While I was "mousing around" Jessica's Biscuit -- well, 3 more books will be joining the cookie book in shipment.

Are you also a knitter? Me too.

Stephanie said...

Cathy...Fforde's books are amazing. I plow through them in mere hours, simply because they're so good, I have to find out what happens next!

Speaking of, should you visit the local library, I suggest you begin with the first book, Thursday Next in the Eyre Affair. I promise you'll be hooked!

Oh, and for anyone looking to get super-cheap books (of any kind), you may want to try Edward R. Hamilton booksellers; it's mostly remainders, but I've found some true gems there. In fact, the most recent sale catalog they sent me is filled with books ranging from 1.95 to of course we're ordering more cookbooks than I have the shelf space for!

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena - well, I may just have to give prawns with chocolate a chance!

Hi Lu - you'll love it! I do knit, though I don't think I do it often enough or well enough to qualify as a "knitter". I wish it was something that I was better at!

Hi Stephanie - that's good to know, since I doubt the recent one will be available in the library for a while. I really does sound like a clever concept!

Oh gosh, do I dare look at that website?? :) I'm trying so hard to work my way through some of the many unread books sitting on my shelves before I buy any more... but it is sooooo tempting! Here's another source of remainders that I haven't explored recently but years ago I enjoyed their catalogs very much: Daedalus Books. They have a number of Fforde's books. I musn't start looking at the cookbooks...

pinknest said...

hi, came across your blog. love it! and i love the shape of these giner cookies. adorable.

Cathy said...

Hi Pinknest - thanks so much!