No. 262 & 263: Scottish Shortbread & Classic Gingersnaps

While we aren't celebrating Scottish independence this weekend, we are celebrating six years of marriage.

Six years! That means we've been married longer than we dated. It's fun to finally hit that tipping point.

The traditional gift for year six is iron. I'd say Mr. McC nailed it with my gift.

Lodge Cast Iron

The really fun part is going to be figuring out how to use all these different sizes of iron skillets. Any ideas??

Scottish Shortbread

In honor of the UK, and especially Scotland, I decided these little cookies were a great weekend project.

Ingredients

Makes 12 to 16 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I used raw sugar)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
Sugar, chopped nuts, or cocoa nibs, for topping

To make

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour and the salt until completely incorporated. You'll have a soft and crumbly dough.

Dough

Roll the dough out thinly and cut it into shapes, rounds, or fingers. Place in the fridge for half an hour or so, until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the tops with sugar, chopped nuts, or cocoa nibs.

Sprinkled with chocolate and sugar

Bake for 20 minutes or so, until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Classic Gingersnaps

Since I only had 12 shortbread cookies, I needed a few more items for the Kappas on Sunday evening. It's almost the season for gingersnaps, or at least close enough for me to justify making these.

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bread flour (if you don't have bread flour, just use 1 cup plus 2 tbsp of all-purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (optional, for an extra kick)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp unsulphured molasses

To make

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until well-blended and fluffy. Add the molasses and whisk again until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and mix gently until a dough forms.

Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place at least two inches apart on parchment paper or greased foil. The cookies will spread, so give them room.

Dough balls

For chewier cookies, bake for 10-12 minutes. For crisper, bake longer, about 13-14.

The results

Let's start with the shortbread! These simple, four-ingredient little guys are buttery and light. I just wish I hadn't baked the a touch too long:(

Shortbreads

I liked them best with just a sprinkling of sugar.

The real success story though are the gingersnaps. This is a great go-to holiday recipe. They are chewy in the middle and crispy on the edges, with just the right amount of gingery taste.

I packed these up for the Kappa gals too quickly to get a final picture, but they're definiely worth a go!

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Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at theresolvedcook@gmail.com