When I set out to make gingersnaps, a recipe chosen simply because I had all of the required ingredients on hand, it was brought to my attention that a cookie as common as gingersnaps would be in every place imaginable in the blogosphere. People who search for a gingersnap recipe online are very unlikely to find Love & Flour, and perhaps even more unlikely to stop here if they do.
Now that my blog is just over six months old, I’ve been thinking a lot about the best way to continue. What exactly am I doing here?
When I set out to blog, I chose baking as my primary topic for a lot of reasons. I needed to eat, so I reasoned I could just as well bake and eat dessert as I could cook and eat any other food. I loved the creativity behind baking new desserts and pairing new flavors, but I always kept those things at arm’s length. I figured forcing myself to bake and create on a regular basis would be a way to give myself permission to make those things more understandable and more attainable. And I knew I could write about more than just the baking.
When I started, I set the goal to post daily for 30 days. When I reached that goal, I set a new goal to post every other day for the next 60 days. When I reached that goal, I felt confident the blogging habit was ingrained, and I could give myself a little pat on the back in another 90 days.
Funny thing about that second 90 days. It came and went before I even realized it, much the same way I noticed my 100th post came and went a few weeks back. The toughest thing about this process has been remembering to relax and enjoy baking just for the sake of baking like I used to. Trying to get back to just that is probably while I was drawn to a simple gingersnap cookie recipe in the first place.
I used the slight guilt mixed with disappointment I felt over a plain-ol’-gingersnap post to motivate me into doing something with the lovely piece of ginger root pictured above with the gingersnap cookies. With the help of Alton Brown and David Lebovitz , I candied it. Then I mixed the syrup with some club soda to make something I wanted to try for over a year, homemade ginger ale.
Though no Seagram’s, the ginger ale was better than I expected. It was very flavorful, but perhaps a bit too sweet for my taste (I’m used to store-bought diet ginger ale). The gingersnaps, flavored with only ground ginger and orange zest, had just the right mild ginger flavor I prefer in a ginger snap. If you prefer a more pronounced ginger flavor in your gingersnaps, try adding a teaspoon of diced, candied ginger in addition to the ground ginger.
Love & Flour is never going to be a gourmet food blog, but I do hope it is a “real food” blog. If just once someone comes across a new recipe to add to the dinner table (oh all right, the dessert table) or is inspired to try something completely new, then that’s good enough. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, ginger, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter and corn syrup together in a saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted.
- Remove the mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- When slightly cooled, pour into a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Beat in the egg and the orange zest.
- Place rounded tablespoons of the dough onto greased cookie sheets.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned.
1 cup of self-rising flour is equal to 1 cup of all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup light molasses is equal to 1 cup of dark corn syrup. Source: Joy of Baking