Our friend Catherine's son Harry, a budding chef at the ripe old age of 5, helped make these fine-looking cookies. My own son, well into the terrible teens, consumed his fair share at the historic Eagles vs Colts game last week (not to rub it in, but what a game). He gave them a huge thumbs up too. Perhaps he should have shared a cluster of cookies with actor Vince Vaughn who high-fived same son that night at the game. Life doesn't get any better...regardless of your age.
We've called this recipe "kid-friendly" for a couple of reasons. For starters, it results in a soft, rather than a "snappy" ginger cookie, which can challenge youngsters who lack front teeth. Secondly, it uses ginger powder rather sparingly -- which means no spicy aftertaste to burn tender palates. And finally, the recipe is simple enough that tykes truly can help bake them.
Catherine and Harry's Ginger Snaps:
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 & 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix the first four ingredients using an electric mixer; then combine all the dry ingredients together, then pop this dry mixture into the electric mixer and combine everything. Take spoonful size bits of the dough, roll them into little balls, and then roll them in sugar. Cook for 9 to 11 minutes at 375 degrees.
Remember how much fun you had learning to cook? La Cucina in Reading Terminal Market offers frequent and varied classes where you can rediscover that joy. Give one (or five) a try! Whether you pass your lessons on to your kids is up to you. We recommend avoiding knife skills and techniques for the youngest chefs.
And lastly, here's a "snap" of Vince Vaughn from The Wedding Crashers, demonstrating his own brand of touch football. Aren't we glad he doesn't play for the Eagles?