Remember I told you about The Gourmet Cook Book that I got for Christmas. Well Peter loves ginger cookies and he asked me to comb through the book to see what they might have that would be unusual and good.
From Britain in 1949, comes the Brandy Snap, which is a misnomer as there is no brandy in the recipe; they took it out as it added nothing to the taste or texture but it did add to the price, and Britain was still recovering from the war. I'd call these Molasses Ginger Rolls or just plain yummy. You'll note as you read the recipe below, that the format for recipes has changed quite a bit since 1949, but Gourmet has been kind enough to add some recipe notes for guidance. Making these wafers into rolls is a bit of a challenge, but a fun one, especially when you see a plate piled high with dozens of rolls. These remain a little chewy, which is a good thing, and are a perfect accompaniment to ice cream or a simple cup of coffee. Breakfast any one?
Makes 18-20 dozen
Heat together in a saucepan 1½ cups each butter and sugar and 1 cup molasses, stirring the mixture until it is well blended. Stir in 4 teaspoons powered ginger, remove the pan from the heat, and add 3 cups of sifted all-purpose flour, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Drop the batter from the tip of a spoon onto a buttered cookie sheet, allowing 2 inches between wafers. Bake in a slow oven (300℉) for about 12 minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Remove from the pan immediately with a spatula and roll the wafers over a wooden stick or the handled of a wooden spoon. Or, if preferred, shape them into cones. Store the brandy snaps in airtight containers. →As a VARIATION, 1½ teaspoons grated lemon rind may be added to the batter with the ginger.
- Use about 2 teaspoons of batter for each cookie.
- For the variation, use grated lemon zest (without any of the bitter white pith).
- Be sure to remove the snaps from the baking sheet while they're still warm and immediately roll them around the handle of a wooden spoon or wooden dowel.
- Work with several cookies at once so you have time to shape them as they cool. Return cookies to the oven for a few seconds if they cool and become hard to roll.
- Brandy snaps not only keep well, they taste better on the second day.
- If possible use, medium-weight, light-colored cookie sheets, not nonstick. In dark metal pans the cookies may brown more and cooking time may be shorter.
- When baking batches of cookies, be sure the pans have cooled before you place more dough on them; a warm pan will cause the cookies to spread too much.