What a sweet start to the season! Our colleagues at CNN.com HQ in Atlanta went spatula to spatula in an all-out brawl for holiday cookie supremacy.
Husband and wife team Etan Horowitz (@etanowitz) and Daphne Sashin (@dsashin) won the CNN.com charity bake-off with their dairy-free adaptation of Maida Heatter’s “Grandma’s Gingersnaps.”
Staffers cast votes using dollar bills to indicate their favorites, and all cash went toward the Adopt-a-Family drive, buying gifts for two families of five this year - a mother and her four children, as well as a refugee family from Bhutan.
Daphne says: “I love Maida Heatter’s cookie recipes, and these gingersnaps are a hit with everyone. They are unique because they’re soft and chewy, not crispy. You have to be careful not to overcook these guys – we had them in the oven for just 5-6 minutes. You can dress them up with whatever colored sugar fits your mood.”
Etan says: “I love these cookies because I am lactose intolerant and it's hard to find good cookies that are dairy-free. The only tweak we make is to use vegetable-oil spread instead of butter, but they still taste delicious.”
(Adapted slightly from Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies, Random House, 1995).
2 1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 stick vegetable oil spread (can use butter)
1 packed cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light and mild molasses
Granulated sugar (to roll cookies in)
Place rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment and set aside.
To make cookie dough: Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves and set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat the vegetable spread and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg and molasses. Beat until perfectly smooth. Gradually add dry ingredients. Beat on low speed only until incorporated then transfer mixture to small bowl for ease in handling.
To form cookies: Place 1 to 2 cups sugar on dinner plate. Spread out length of aluminum foil. Form dough into mounds using rounded ½ teaspoonful of dough for each cookie. Roll each mound into a ball and roll in sugar to coat completely. Place 3 inches apart on baking sheet.
It should be noted for the record that Etan and Daphne did not achieve excellence by accident.
Good idea we do not want to sit in bathroom waiting on the toilet all day
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