Wednesday, September 15, 2004

It's Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This is a reasonably fun Jewish holiday: it's not quite as fun as Purim, which is kind of like the Jewish Halloween but with alcohol, but it's considerably more fun than Yom Kippur, which involves fasting and contemplating all your sins. Anyway, if you do not celebrate Rosh Hashanah but would like to partake in a small way, the thing to do is slice up an apple and dip it in honey. This is supposed to ensure a sweet new year. It's also surprisingly yummy.

I think the following cookies would go well with apples and honey, and as an added bonus, you could bring them to a Rosh Hashanah celebration, because they're made with vegetable shortening, not butter, and therefore are kosher no matter what's for dinner. (I'm not going to get into the rules of kashrut here. Suffice it to say that butter complicates things.) They're from the Once Upon a Tart cookbook, which I like a lot.

Ginger Cookies

2 cups sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the cookies
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups crisco or other vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1. preheat the oven to 350 and make sure one oven rack is in the middle of the oven.
2. useing the whisk attachment on your mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they're light yellow. Turn the mixer to low, and add the mololasses and shortening.
3. In another bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients. Add this to the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon.
4. drop cookies by a teaspoon 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake the cookies until deep brown, 10-12 minutes.
6. Let 'em cool on a wire rack.

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