Totally Scrumptious Gingersnaps from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook! I actually made each cookie twice as big as directed, and they were soft and chewy instead of snappy. Also, I used raw sugar instead of brown sugar which gave them a nice crunch. I couldn't find the exact recipe online, so I'm posting them here.
Gingersnaps from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, unsalted, at room temperature 1 1/3 cups packed dark-brown sugar 1 1/2 Tablespoons finely grated, peeled ginger (one 3-inch piece) ¼ cup unsulfured molasses 1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar crystals for coating the cookies
1. Stir together the dry ingredients.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter, brown sugar, molasses and ginger on medium-high just until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Beat in the egg until smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
4. Mix in the dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.
5. Transfer dough to a bowl and wrap in plastic; refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour or overnight.
6. To bake, preheat the oven to 350F (180C), with racks in the center and lower third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
8. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar if you want, and place 2-inches apart on prepared sheet (since they’ll spread while baking).
9. Bake, rotating the sheets midway during baking, until deep-golden brown all over and centers are firm, 15 to 18 minutes.
10. Let the cookies cool two minutes, then remove them with a spatula and transfer them to a cooling rack.
Storage: The dough can be refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months. Once baked, the cookies can be kept in an air-tight container for a couple of days but like anything made with butter, of course they’re best the day they’re baked.
This recipe was a winner. Total comfort food. Extremely NOT low-calorie. I made my own bechamel sauce (following this recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe/index.html) and bought a pesto for the basil sauce. Also, I omitted his dried porcini, which I couldn't find and thus did not include. Here is the recipe slightly adapted...
Mushroom lasagne with basil and cream
Enough for 6
slightly adapted from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater
3 small garlic cloves
a thick slice of butter
1 3/4 lbs portobello mushrooms (I bought pre-sliced baby ones to save time)
handful of parsley, chopped
6 TB Parmesan, freshly grated plus more to sprinkle on top
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups bechamel sauce
1/2 lb lasagne noodles, cooked
For the basil sauce:
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
5 TB Parmesan, freshly grated
Peel and roughly chop the onions, peel and thinly slice the garlic, then set them to cook in a deep-sided frying pan with the butter. Cut the mushrooms into thick slices. After twenty minutes' cooking, the onions and garlic will have softened and taken on an almost translucent quality.
Meanwhile, either process the pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan in a food processor or do it the hard way by pounding the garlic with a little salt in a mortar, then mashing in the basil, pine nuts, cheese and olive oil to make a rough and slightly sloppy paste.
Stir the sliced mushrooms into the onions and garlic and partially cover with a lid. The mushrooms should color and soften. Add parsley, 4 or 5 TB of Parmesan and the cream. Season with salt and ground black pepper and simmer and stir until the cream has thickened some-what.
Spread a few spoonfuls of the bechamel sauce over the bottom of a large dish (I used 9x13 baking dish), then cover with a single layer of the pasta. Spoon on half of the mushroom filling, cover with another layer of pasta, then a second layer of mushrooms. Top with a third single layer of pasta. Spread the basil sauce over the pasta, then smooth the last of the bechamel sauce over and cover with the remaining Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees for fifty minutes or until golden and bubbling.
I was using up some comp time this morning: sleeping in, running errands, tidying up and planned to get my emissions test done before heading over to an extended off-site work meeting at noon. Before heading out again to get that darn emissions test, I decided to puruse a cookbook while I drank some fresh, French press coffee. While I poured my coffee, it suddenly occurred to me that I was supposed to bring a baked good to this afternoon's meeting! GASP! What to do? I hadn't planned anything. I flipped open the ginormous cookbook - The Essential New York Times Cookbook. By chance or divine providence, I opened it to page 779, and what did I find, dear reader!? The quickest cake ever, that's what. It took about 7 minutes to whip up and stick in the oven, and then about 30 mins to bake - BAM!
It promises not to be the best cake I've ever tasted, so this post may be far too reactionary, but I just had to share how randomly and quickly I came upon my answer, thanks be to God. (Also, I'm praising God that it is cool enough here to turn my oven on without dire consequences.)
My take-away: Not all questions are answered by long, drawn-out research and debate.
Adapted from ''Cafe Beaujolais'' by Margaret Fox and John S. Bear (Ten Speed Press, 1984) by Amanda Hesser
Time: 40 minutes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons corn oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla and vinegar with 1 cup cold water. Whisk in the dry ingredients, blending until completely lump-free. Pour into a greased 9-inch round cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed gently. Cool before removing from the pan and dusting with confectioners' sugar, or frosting if desired.
I made this dish tonight in an effort to eat more healthfully. This totally made the cut into my regular meal repertoire: easy, fast, nutritious and yumtastic. The key, I think, was the toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas). The recipe said 6 servings, but for a meal, I think it was more like 4 servings. I found this recipe in a free magazine from the local natural foods store. Yeah! (Originally from The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer Cookbook by Jonny Bowden and Jeannette Bessinger.)
SOUTHWEST STYLE QUINOA
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken or veg broth
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz jar high-quality prepared salsa
1/4 cup chopped chives (optional)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1. In a medium saucepan, dry toast quinoa for 3 mins over med heat. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to boil. Stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 mins or until quinoa is tender and nearly all liquid is absorbed.
2. When quinoa is tender, add beans salsa, chives (if using), and cilantro, stirring gently to combine well. Cover and cook for 1 min or until dish reaches desired temperature. Fold in seeds and serve!