Feeling spicey today, on my first day of being a Blogger (is that capitalized? I’d like to think so), so I thought I’d post a recipe I perfected whilst working at an awesome little bakery in a tiny mountain town in Arizona, so far away, but still so close to my heart.
These cookies are the best of all worlds, soft and chewy, sugary with a kick of spice at the end, , and gluten free. Perfectly plain with a cup of lemon tea, or, if you’re feeling extra sassy, whip up the dreamy filling and make it a sandwich cookie kind of afternoon.
Sift together –
2 c. gluten free flour blend
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 c. sugar plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp. buttermilk
Mix sifted dry ingredients into creamed wet ingredients.
Drop dough by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet 2″ apart. Sprinkle with sugar. Let dough balls rest in refrigerator for about 10 minutes until chilled. If you don’t have room in your fridge for a cookie sheet (who does, really?), then place dough balls on plate and then transfer to cookie sheet when chilled. This step is important when baking cookies with gluten free flour because it helps the cookies hold their shape and not flatten out too much
Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and cracked on top.
Allow to cool completely before filling (see recipe below)
Honey Almond Cream Cheese Filling
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup raw honey
4 C powdered sugar
Mix well until light and fluffy. Fill gingersnaps. Enjoy immensely.
And now, a bit about molasses, and why I always use the tangy, bitter, blackstrap molasses.
Molasses comes from sugar cane. Surprisingly, it’s not that easy to extract all of the sucrose from sugar cane juice. After a first round of processing, which involves spinning the juice in a centrifuge and heating (boiling), you can get a lot of the sucrose out, but not all of it. The syrup that remains after this first round of processing is the light molasses you see in the grocery store. It’s also called “first” molasses and has the mildest taste of any molasses. Another round of processing is needed to further extract more sucrose. (The removal of sucrose from the molasses syrup is not all that significant on the nutrition side of things, but it is important to the manufacturer on the economic side because the removed sucrose can be further processed and sold as table sugar). This second round of processing further concentrates the syrup and also darkens it, resulting in the dark molasses you find in most grocery stores. Dark molasses is also called second molasses.
A third round of processing is possible, and this is the round that results in the product known as blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is the thickest form of molasses, the darkest, and the most dense in terms of minerals. Three rounds of heating are the reason for the very dark color of blackstrap molasses, because even though many sugars have been removed from the syrup, the sugars that do remain get caramelized from three rounds of heating. Sometimes you’ll only find blackstrap molasses in natural foods stores. Because of the superior mineral content of blackstrap molasses we prefer this version of the product. You’ll find significant amounts of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium in blackstrap molasses.