Wednesday, December 22, 2010

M.F.K. Fisher's Ginger Hottendots

Submitted by Michelle
I will admit the main reason I made these cookies was simply because I liked the name and thought it would make for a great blog title. Also, the recipe is from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Classic Home Desserts, a cookbook that has NEVER failed me, so I knew there was an extremely strong chance that I would like the cookie. I was right.

Hottendots start with the usual suspects. On the dry side: flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
On the wet side: balsamic vinegar, molasses and eggs. The vinegar threw me for a loop but as my culinary wise husband always says, "Trust the recipe" so I did. The Hottendots also use butter and sugar but they didn't make it into the pictures.
All the wet ingredients are creamed into a caramel colored batter and then the dry ingredients are mixed in.
I rolled the dough into balls and then in granulated sugar (the sugar was my idea, not M.F.K. Fisher's.) I like using a small scoop to ensure that the cookies are uniform in size.
Once baked, Hottendots are gingery rounds that can be crisp or soft, depending on your taste and the cooking time.
Linda recently posted a recipe for Molasses Ginger Cookies and Hottendots are very similar. I probably would have used Linda's recipe had I not become so enamored with the word Hottendot. You can try them both and decide which you like best.

M.F.K. Fisher's Ginger Hottendots

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar, plus more for rolling the dough in
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup dark (not blackstrap) molasses
2 teaspoons cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 2 cookie sheets (or use Silpat mats like I do.) Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves onto a piece of wax paper; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed. Stir in eggs, molasses and vinegar. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix just until blended, no longer.

Roll the dough into 1/2 to 3/4 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, if desired. Place about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake until soft, about 7 minutes, don't overbake. The cookies will crisp as they cool. (Note: 7 minutes wasn't long enough in my oven. Bake the Hottendots until they start getting crinkly cracks on the top.)

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 15 dozen tiny cookies. Though the yield seems huge, they will go quickly and they keep well too.

9: The number of times I was able to use the word Hottendot in this blog entry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These cookies are the BEST! I have baked these and I have them from the same cookbook! Great for ginger lovers!