The Teenager's volleyball team is trying to raise funds for their travels this winter and, yesterday, the group trouped through a tree farm, selecting trees to sell. The girls were more enthusiastic about the chore than I would have expected them to be and we now have an inventory of twenty Colorado Blue Spruce trees ($25 and up, you know, if you're in the market for a tree).
Also, the girls had fun, which, really makes the difference between "We have to cut trees to sell" and "We get to cut trees to sell"; big difference when dealing with teenagers, I assure you.
Once the tree cutting was done, I embarked on the holiday baking (FINALLY!), with a batch of soft gingerbread cookies which are one of Hugh's favorites. Until last night, they barely registered on the Man-Cub's radar, but, for whatever reason, he tried one last night and is now in love. Let this be a lesson, children: don 't knock it 'til you've tried it.
If you like the flavor of traditional gingerbread but enjoy a chewier cookie, this is the treat for you.
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cardamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat sugar, shortening, molasses, and egg together until well combined. Dump in dry ingredients, stirring until ingredients are combined and a soft dough forms.
Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, generously coat each ball with sugar. Place balls on baking sheets (I line mine with parchment paper, no mess, easy clean-up!) and bake for 9-11 minutes, allowing cookies to bake for about a minute after tops begin to crack.
Remove cookies from baking sheets and allow to cool. Store in Ziploc bags, can be frozen for up to one month.
I always double this recipe since Hugh enjoys the cookies so much. I'm hoping I won't have to triple it since the Man-Cub has joined the gingerbread bandwagon. Time will tell.