>> Wednesday, January 14, 2009
These cookies were a sorta-kinda flop.
Which isn't all that rare, really. But the depressing thing about this particular flop was that I've made these cookies at least twice before. And both times, they were NOT flops. They were fluffy, great tasting, and had great texture too.
But this time, since we were fresh out of buttermilk, I used this stuff:
Which was another one of my (frequent) not-so-bright ideas.
But I mean, come on! It says right on there, "Great for cooking and baking". So what am I to do but believe it?
Anyway, I think that's the reason these cookies turned out flat and very fine-textured. Nevertheless, they are still highly delicious, and if you follow the directions, using real buttermilk, your taste buds will rejoice along with you.
First, the ingredients:
Oh yeah, and brown sugar.
Sorry. It was the angle. And the lighting. It just shouted "Hallelujah" to me.
So, to commence preparation...
I mixed the buttermilk powder with water first. Just thought it felt safe to do that and let it sit. No idea why. But I did.
And it looked gross. Tasted gross, too.
Not that I actually tried it or anything.
But there it is, lumpy and watery and...definitely NOT buttermilk.
But I carried on. Because that's what good cooks do.
Or insane cooks.
But let's not open that can of worms.
Next, sift the flour.
I love sifters. They're so cool.
Once you have a bunch of sifted flour, measure 2 cups of it.
(Casting odd shadows is such an important element of amateur photography that I just couldn't resist. )
Then you combine all those dry ingredients together: the flour, the baking soda:
(Again with the odd shadows.)
I got so carried away taking pictures of salt in motion that I forgot to stop pouring.
So then, using great caution and precision, I had to pour the extra salt back into the container.
But I am not a cautious or precise type of person, thank you very much, so most of it ended up on the counter again anyway.
So after you clean up after your salt fiasco, continue with the process of combining the dry ingredients.
Ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
After the measuring of the ginger, my peaceful, quiet, solitary cooking therapy session was interrupted by a couple of wild hooligans. So the photography went downhill. As in, ALL the way downhill, crashing at the bottom. As in, I didn't take any closeup pictures of cinnamon or cloves or one-handed egg cracking. Aren't you sad?
You'll have to survive, I suppose, because I can't seem to get into the 'Zone' unless I'm cooking alone.
*Gasp*. I rhymed.
Anyway, cream together the shortening, brown sugar, egg, molasses and "buttermilk", until it looks something akin to this:
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Actually, make 'em a bit smaller than this:
And bake them at 350 for 15 minutes or so.
These golden brown discus things. Remember, follow the recipe right, and you'll have cute little puffy cookies with a thick, almost cake-like texture.
And now for the frosting. Glaze. Whatever you want to call it.
Place 1 stick of butter and the brown sugar in a saucepan.
Add some milk and let it all melt and come to a boil.
Try unsuccessfully to run wild hooligans out of the kitchen.
Neglect to take pictures of the bubbly, rich-colored caramel goodness that simmers on your stove.
Or the uber-exciting beating-in of the Confectioner's sugar and vanilla.
And finally, frost your cookies.
You can do it with a knife, like I did above.
Or you can add a little more milk and just kind of drizzle it over the cookies.
Or you can pour the thinner glaze onto the middle of the cookie and watch in fascination as it spreads and then hardens in perfect symmetry.
Whatever you do, get the frosting on there.
When these cookies are made right, and the frosting is the right consistency, you can just hold the bottom of the cookie and dip the top part into the frosting, creating a nice swirly coat on the top.
To tell the truth, though they may look prettier with the frosting drizzled, the taste and texture is better when it's dipped/spread. It's creamier and there's more of it. Which, in my book, is always a plus.
Soft Molasses Cookies with Caramel Glaze
2 C. sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. molasses
1/3 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. shortening
Thick Caramel Glaze:
1/2 C. butter
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/3 C. milk
2 1/2 C. Confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets.
2. Sift together flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
3. In separate mixing bowl, cream together brown sugar, shortening, egg, molasses and buttermilk.
4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat well.
5. Drop by spoon onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.
6. Thick Caramel Glaze: in medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and milk. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture boils. Boil gently, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat by hand until well-blended. Using a spoon, spread a small amount over each cookie.