Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we thought a great way to show a little appreciation would be to give a box full of fall... by way of ginger snap autumn leaves.
Simple to make with a short list of ingredients and fresh ginger they are the perfect after diner treat, not too sweet, but oh so satisfying.
Instead of traditional cookie cutter shapes we cut these out free-hand and pressed the leaf veins in with a bamboo skewer which allows them to look a bit more like real leaves...
... all different shapes and sizes. The majority of the leaves are a simple common shape (made easily with two swoops of a small knife) but there are also a couple of maple leaves thrown in for variation. These take a little longer to cut out, but only at a ratio of about 45 seconds to the 10 seconds it takes to cut the simpler shapes. You could make a template out of parchment paper or buy a maple leaf cookie cutter, but personally I like the "rustic" free-hand versions.
You could leave them plain, or if you feel a chill in the air...
... let the snow dust a few of them before...
... you send them out the door.
Fallen Ginger Snap Leaves (cookie recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine):
2.5 cups flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1tsp baking soda
1tsp ground cinnamon
2tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely grated or minced)
1 large egg.
In a separate bowl whisk flour, spices, baking soda and salt. In another bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add molasses, fresh ginger and the egg.
One the wet mixture complete slowly mix in the whisked dry ingredients. Once fully incorporated, refrigerate for 3 hours or so.
After refrigeration, take half the dough and roll out to about 1/8-3/16" thickness and begin cutting out your shapes (just make sure the dough is well floured on the underside before you cut it to make transferring easier). The great thing about free-handing this is you can really use all of the dough because you can make the leaf shapes as big or small as you need.
In order to keep the vein imprints, place the shapes on a parchment lined sheet and place in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Once the oven is heated bake for 11-13 minutes and let cool on a wire rack.
*Last time in Recipes: Honey Popcorn Planets