Ginger Nut Cookies

It’s cookie time in the Oliver-Turner household. In anticipation of the holidays I’m rolling up my shirtsleeves and getting out the sticks of butter. I’m traveling to DC/Virginia this year to spend Christmas with my sister, brother-in-law and nephews, and currently studying up on my cookie craft.
This sounds incredible, but I haven’t spent a single holiday season with children in my adult life. I’m looking forward to taking part in their joy and excitement and I think me and Chris are both giddy about the toy shopping.

My sister and I are planning an epic cookie-fest for sometime during the holiday week leading up to Christmas. I will be bringing along my famous chocolate chip pecan cookie recipe, and I’m excited to add to my repertoire ginger nut cookies. Inspired by Herman Melville’s short story, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” which I read just recently. In the story, an eccentric scrivener, working at a law office in the early half of the 19th Century, refuses to continue with his work. Throughout the story, the narrator, Bartleby’s employer, notices that he seems to only eat crunchy ginger nut cakes. If I could, I would only eat these spicy ginger nut cookies, but alas, I’ll have to settle for them on occasion.

Ginger Nut Cookies
Dry ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
½ cup softened butter
¼ cup oil (I used walnut), you can also sub shortening.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg (you can add another egg if you want a softer texture)
¼ cup dark molasses
¼cup + extra for finishing, finely chopped walnuts and almonds

Preheat oven 350F.

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Stir together and set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the butter, oil and sugar. You can use an electric mixer; I use a flat, wooden paddle spoon. Once the butter/sugar mixture is well mixed and fluffy, add in the egg and beat for a minute or two. Add the molasses and nuts. Slowly stir in the dry mixture. The dough will be slightly sticky.

Roll dough into balls, about 1Tblsp large, place on a lined baking sheet. The cookies will spread quite a bit, so be sure to place them with a little room between each. Garnish with chopped nut mixture. Bake 15mins.

I think I’m going to go enjoy these cookies with a cup of cheer.

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