High Altitude Baking
For years, I have avoided baking like the plague. It all stems from a childhood memory of my first baking experience. Being the youngest of five children, I would return home from school to an empty nest, while the rest of my siblings and my parents work. Mom would call me from work and tell me how to cook dinner. I remember the first thing I ever made was a pot roast and I as scared to death that I would over-season it. I don't remember how my pot roast tasted, but I imagine it was bland. Nobody complained.
So one day after school, I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies. The fear of cooking is heightened by high altitude adjustments when you are just a novice cook, but I managed to follow the instructions. I remember having to hand mix the batter and as I recall, the more flour you added, the harder it became to mix. I remember my arm getting tired from mixing. But in the end, I was proud of my accomplishment. It had taken me hours to make and I eagerly waited for my family to return home. They did. They devoured my cookies in a matter of minutes. While I should have been tickled pink that my family ate all my cookies, I was in fact, saddened that all that work was gone in minutes. It made me hate baking.
Looking back on that, I can now appreciate that my cookies were good! So good, they were gone in minutes! So back on a cookie making journey, today I tested a recipe by shemakesandbakes.com, a high altitude friendly baker. I love ginger snap cookies so I tried out her recipe.
Once you add the molasses, the fragrance is striking, but then you add the ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves you can already taste the loveliness that is a ginger snap. I prefer mine chewy, not snappy, but alas, these came out more like a traditional snap.
I keep an old margarine tub of cinnamon sugar so the kids can make cinnamon toast whenever they want. Rolled into about 1 inch balls and swirled in a little dish of the cinnamon sugar, they look like sparkling, blinged out yumminess! My hands were covered in molasses after rolling, and I had to wash them several times to pull out the cookie sheet, but mmmmmmmmm. While 11 minutes was too long for my oven, the outer edges are quite crunchy but the middle is still chewy. Like the middle, middle. Next time I think I'll go for 9 minutes to ensure the chewier texture that I prefer.
Success! Family loves 'em! Even my oldest who said, "They're good for a ginger snap." Not his favorite cookie, but he said he would eat them for sure.
Store in a covered container so they don't get hard. Mmmmmm. Can't wait until the next cookie adventure!