22 November 2011

louise brooks approved

When Emilia found out that she had won the costume contest, she was super pumped.  When I gave her the choice of traditional or experimental seasonal cookies, I think she got even more excited.  And being the daring, adventurous gal she is, Emelia chose to go with anything but traditional.  I promised a second batch if the one she got wasn't satisfactory but, thankfully it was.  That doesn't mean that I didn't make a few batches that were so awful that I had to throw them out.  No no no.  After all, experimental baking is bound to include a few disasters before something delicious gets pulled out of the oven, right?  Well, my original plan was to make a ginger cookie - one that I have epically failed at before.  I learned the hard way that there is a ginormous difference between shortening and butter and if a recipe calls for shortening, you best get your ass to the store and pick up some Crisco.  Then I decided that I wanted to use a walnut flour, kind of like how I love using almond flour.  As I ground bag after bag of walnuts into submission, I realized that walnuts are way more oily than other nuts and are not conducive to being flour-ized.  So I ended up with a whole lotta cups of ground up walnuts that couldn't be used as flour.  What to do?  How about combining two disastrous recipes?  Yup, that's what I did.  Then I added in a touch of the cranberry curd that I made way too much of a little while ago (don't worry, I'll post that in just a jiff.)  And the result was brilliantly successful and seasonal and warm and delicious and worthy of gifting as a grand prize!

So if you're looking for something sweet to serve this Thanksgiving that isn't a pie or pumpkin-y, you should definitely make these.  The spiciness, the gooeyness and the sweetness with the crunch of walnut really gives off the flavors of the season.

they even look holiday-ish

ginger walnut cookies with cranberry curd
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c shortening (get the butter flavored kind)
3/4 c molasses
4 c flour
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2  - 2 c ground walnuts
1. Sift together flour, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  In the bowl of your mixer, blend sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add molasses and continue to blend until smooth.  With mixer on a medium speed, slowly add the dry mix, blending well and making sure there are no lumps.  Stir in the walnuts.  Cover the dough and chill for at least three hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350.  Pull off pieces of dough and roll into pieces the size of golfballs.  Press down with your thumb being careful not to break the cookie.  Fill the thumbprint with cranberry curd.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookie just begin to brown but not burn.  

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