La Neige et Le Gingembre

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”” 

― Lewis CarrollAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Big, fat snowflakes fall onto rosy cheeks, as collars are turned up against the creeping cold and whispering, wintry winds.
Winter is coming; there is no denying it.
Granted, she may be a season of malaise, but winter has an undeniably ghostly beauty.

Driving through the countryside, the dark allure of this season is illuminated; weak beams of sunlight stream through lavender clouds, lighting upon endless fields of dead crops, standing proud and tall against the frost; upon lustrous evergreens and silvery deciduous trees, between which the ground is laid bare, the soft carpet of needles giving way to hard cold ground only at the edges of the forests.  

Pillowy white snowflakes litter the ground, remaining there for only an instant, before melting into the earth.
Cet hiver serai beau- de ça je suis sûr; je peux le voir maintenant, même au début.  Même si vous n’aimiez pas la neige, vous pouvez apprécier la beauté de ce saison froid.
These cookies are perfect for cozy winter snacking.  Not that I would know anything about that… 

Actually, I’ve been up to my ears in ginger cookies for the last week.  I’ve been in hot pursuit of ones that were chewy and soft; anti-gingersnaps, as it were.  I ended up with many, many, many gingersnaps.  Delicious? Absolutely.  Soft? No.  Rock hard Crispy.

All the trials boiled down to these cookies.  They are perfection.

They are filled with warm spices, and just enough heat, which has the edge taken off by sweet, mellow molasses.  Their crinkly, sparkly and sugar spangled outsides remind me of ice crystallization.  Soft on the inside, with a slightly crispy, chewy outside, these are a wonderful addition to any winter cookie recipe repertoire.

I may or may not have also added them to my winter breakfasts.  But you didn’t hear that from me.


Giant Sparkling Ginger Molasses Cookies
adapted from Chow
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger
pinch cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
Cream butter and brown sugar and salt together until fluffy and no butter chunks remain.  Add in molasses and spices and beat until incorporated.  Beat in egg.  With the mixer off, dump in all of the flour and baking soda.  Pulse the mixer on and off a few times so that flour doesn’t go all over everything, then mix until the dough comes together and everything is homogeneous.  Divide the dough into 14 portions (I use a 3 or 4 tablespoon ice cream scoop), and roll into balls.  Spread 1/3 cup sugar out on a sheet of parchment or wax paper.  Roll the balls in the sugar until coated.  Space them out- 6 per bakers’ 1/2 sheet (standard cookie sheet size) and squish slightly with the heel of your hand.  Bake for 20 minutes, until fragrant and tanned.  Check often once they get close to being done- you want their bellies to remain soft!

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