Monday, December 18, 2006

The Cookie Swap

My office is a pretty low-key place. You'll find no secret workplace romances, no one from accounting wearing a lampshade at the holiday party, and no x-rated copies being made on the new color copier.

What you will find is a bunch of ladies who really get into the annual cookie swap. We spend the weekend before mixing, sifting, baking and wrapping. The day of we drink too much hot, very sweet (non-alcoholic) cider and eat way too many baked goods.

Spiced Crackle Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies
Prep: 20 minutes. Refrigerate: 1 hour
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 cup all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and molasses on medium speed until blended. Beat in egg until blended, scraping down side of bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and white pepper in clean bowl. Add to butter mixture; beat on low speed until blended. Stir in crystallized ginger. Cover; refrigerate one hour.

Heat oven to 350°. Lightly coat 2 large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Place confectioners’ sugar in bowl. Dust hand lightly with flour. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Immediately roll each ball in confectioners’ sugar to completely coat. Place on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until cookies have expanded and flattened; the tops will be covered in cracks. Transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.

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