I am very popular these days. Not so much out in the big, bad world. But right here in the Terry household, I am the most popular person.
I imagine this will all change someday as my kids get older and start scoring goals in soccer games and getting A’s on important papers. The spotlight will without a doubt shine bright on them, and my role will shift to #1 fan. But for now, everyone fights to hold my hand. They fight if I spend a minute more reading with the other. They keep tabs on kisses and hugs. Even my husbands gets huffy if he doesn’t get time with me.
Speaking of spending time with my hubby, we just went to the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. It’s hard to explain how excited we were about this trip. Well, maybe not. Five days with no kids, no worries, just being in the moment with the love of your life, your favorite band playing and a nice buzz setting in as the sun sets. You understand, right?
Well, with all that excitement it is easy to get caught up in the competition of it all. Magazines and catalogs are full of festival fashion right now. The message is clear- be yourself. And when they say “be yourself” what they mean is be 23 years old, 5’9, 115 pounds, with long wavy hair and a closet full of Free People clothes.
And then of course there is the who do you know and what kind of connections do you have contest. Like a caste system this is categorized by your wristband and where it will allow you to go. Everyone wants to be VIP.
My kids had known for months that Mom and Dad were going on this trip and that they would be staying with Grammy. The night before we left, however, it finally sunk in with my 6 year old daughter that I would be gone for Easter. And while I was leaving them in the hands of two grandmas more than capable of putting together an egg hunt, it would be the first holiday I would miss.
She freaked out! “Mom, you can’t leave for Easter! You’re the most important person!”
Even though she still believes in the Easter bunny, she knows that I am the one who makes all the magic happen. And it is true, there’s a reason why I am popular. I am the organizer, the person who spends hours in the kitchen making holiday treats. I am the person who will drive to a store completely out of the way to find that special something that will add a little more magic to the day.
From past experience I knew they would be in good hands on Easter, but I’m not going to lie, it feels good to know that there is a place in this world where I am the most popular person. In our little family I will always be VIP. No matter who I know, what I am wearing, or how old I get, I will always have backstage, all access passes.
(from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook)
makes 36 delicious cookies
2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T unsalted butter
3 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t cracked black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1 1/4 cups brown sugar (packed with as much as possible, obviously)
1/4 cup molasses
2 T fresh minced ginger
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup granulated sugar with a little cinnamon mixed in (cinnamon toast style)
These are my kids favorite cookies. Yeah, I do what I can to maintain my status in our house. Let’s get started. In a large bowl, wisk together your flour, baking soda and salt. If you are using salted butter, that is fine, just don’t add any extra salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl measure out all your ground spices and set aside.
This is the only step that makes me groan a little, but it is really important if you want snaptastic cookies. Get it? (Thanks for that one Sarah) We are going to brown the butter. Why am I asking you to dirty another pan? Butter is 16 percent water and we want to cook out that extra moisture. So in a sauté pan with a wide surface area, over medium heat, we are going to cook the butter, swirling occasionally, until the foam on top cooks off and it just begins to brown and smell nutty.
As soon as it begins to brown, transfer the butter to another large bowl and toss in the spices. You want to add all your ground spices while the butter is hot so it will really open up and maximize the flavor of the spices.
Let this cool down for a few minutes. Mince up your fresh ginger while you are waiting. Then add the brown sugar, molasses, egg and egg yolk, and the fresh ginger.
This is a very thick and somewhat dry dough, so you’re probably going to have to get in there with your fingers to get it all mixed up. Ta-da!
Next, wrap up the dough tightly in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least one hour or up to 2 days. You could also freeze the dough for 1 month.
After the dough is cold and set you want to preheat your oven to 300 with a rack on top and one in the middle. Get your cinnamon sugar together. You can decide how big you want your cookies. I find that a heaping tablespoon is perfect and a teaspoon is too small.
Roll the dough into little balls and roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar. Line up the sugar coated dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Start the cookies on the top rack so they develop the crinkles that are so characteristic of a good gingersnap cookie. Cook them for 10 minutes on the top rack, then 10 minutes on the middle rack. After you move your first batch of cookies to the middle rack, you can get your second batch going on the top rack, and so on and so on….
Oh yum! These are seriously the best cookies ever! Just a fair warning, you might accidentally eat 8 for breakfast.