Friday, September 27, 2013

My 1,000th post - Pumpkin Gingersnaps

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First of all I just wanted to point out that this is my 1,000th post. Wow. Well for me it's a wow. My first post was way back in 2007 and the first recipe I posted was for Honey Wheat Bread. Can I just say my blog looked pitiful and my photography was horrendous. Geesh. I have come a long way. Hitting this milestone kind of ties into what I'm going to talk about next.

You hear people talk about having a mid-life crisis right? Or you hear stories about how so-and-so left so-and-so and took up with a younger partner, or how the old guy down the street suddenly decided to buy a sports car that he looks ridiculous in. I never really thought that much about the whole mid-life crisis at all, up until now and I can't even say that it describes what I'm feeling. I'm almost 50 and I've been at the same company for 30 years and I have to admit, I'm growing a little tired of it all. I'm having thoughts of leaving and living the life I want to live. Isn't that what everyone wants?

There are so many things I want to do. I have made so many lists and I have to tell ya, I'm not crossing a lot off them. Everything is crammed into vacation days or long weekends. I'm not feeling at peace with myself at all. I've got a difficult new co-worker that is really throwing a monkey wrench into what I used to call I job I loved. I don't love it anymore.

I've gone back and forth with thoughts of monetizing the blog. It's really not something I want to do. I'm such a minimalist when it comes to this kind of stuff. I don't want it to take up too much of my time. I don't like the look of all the ads. I could go on and on, and I have in the past, but I think I might have to give it a go and see what happens. Now if I only had the time to look into it more! See what I mean??

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So I'm trying to work things out in my head. Hang in there with me. Meanwhile, I'm still making cookies. Phenomenal cookies too. Baking always brings me a certain sense of calm and peace. Cookies in particular are always a joy for me to make. I love mixing all the ingredients in a big bowl, I love scooping the dough out, I love rolling little balls of goodness in sugar, I love how the house smells and I love giving someone a warm cookie straight from the rack.

I love gingersnaps. The pumpkin in these just takes it to another level. They aren't too pumpkiny and they have just the right amount of molasses kick. This is a soft gingersnap. I think this one is making it onto my Christmas cookie list.

Pumpkin Gingersnaps

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies
recipe from Two Peas in Their Pod
½ cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
½ cup pumpkin
¼ cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth. Add in the pumpkin, molasses, egg and vanilla. Mix until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for a least 1 hours or up to several days.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place some sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in the sugar until well coated. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until cookies look cracked and set at edges. The cookies will still be soft. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 – 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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