Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas Traditions

 Ahh... Christmas. What a beautiful cluster of pretty, and madness. Christmas (before kids) was absolutely my favorite holiday. Now with two kids, two dogs, and husband Christmas is STILL the best holiday around. The lights, the cookies... I mean the spirit and feeling of giving. Sorry, my stomach was doing the typing.
 Tater really understands Christmas this year. He loved seeing Santa. The magic of Christmas is in full effect in his heart, and that alone makes my holiday season well worth the anxiety, spending, and 10 pounds that I've gained. I'm trying to focus on traditions. I want us to have something that we do every year, together. I want the holidays to be special for him now, and every year for the rest of his life. I want our traditions to be passed down to his kids too. This is something I craze thanks to my family being a total mess. I want my boys to feel nothing but joy, and traditions have the power to do that.
  I love baking, and Tater loves being in the kitchen with me. Last year we made sugar cookies together, which was a clusterfuck... but I loved the time with him. Today when I was putting together this blog post, and setting up to do this recipe Tater begged to help. The impatience in me wanted so badly to say no, I've got it... But I let him help, and I'm so glad I did. I found a thing.
 Naturally cookies are going to be our (along with 99% of all humans on planet Earth) thing. It's not just about making the cookies though, I want to make it about giving them out too.
 Every year I make cookies for coworkers, teachers, friends and family. Hell I usually have orders for them. This year Tater is my kitchen elf. He is getting to do this first hand. After we made the cookies we bundled some up for our neighbors and Squatch's coworkers. He was so excited to share the cookies we made. Tonight we decided to start our tradition with some of my personal favorites. Soft Ginger Cookies are always a massive hit with everyone we share them with. They are thick, chewy, and really pretty. Some also say that about me, and by some I mean no one.
 If you're still reading I'm going to share with you the cookie recipe! It was really fun having Tater in the kitchen with me, so have your little people lend a hand.

 Here is what you need:

  •  2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 room temperature Egglands Best egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 Tbs water
  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start by creaming together your butter and sugar. I can't stress this enough, make sure your butter is room temperature. Do not melt the butter. Don't do that. Whip your sugar and butter until creamy and smooth. 
Add in the beaten egg, and slowly add the molasses in. If your molasses is super thick, and stuck to the jar run the closed jar under hot water for about a minute.
Your dough will be a nice brown color. Add your spices, and water. 
Then slowly began to incorporate your flour and baking soda. I usually have the mixer on speed 3.

The dough may look clumpy, so press it together with a rubber spatula. You can use an ice cream scoop, or a tablespoon to grab the dough. Roll them into 1 inch balls and dip them in sugar.

I added green and red sugar sprinkles to the plain sugar for a festive look. Coat the whole ball in sugar before placing on a greased cookie sheet two inches apart. Gently press down on the cookies with two fingers, just to slightly flatten them out.
Bake 8-11 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned. Move to a wire rack to cool before storing in an air tight container.
 These cookies are so delicious and not in your face sweet. They are sure to please a crowd! 

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