I think one of the biggest challenges facing couples that are starting out (and cohabiting) is the blending and merging of traditions, especially holiday traditions. Every family celebrates a different way, and it can be tricky to protect the traditions that are most important to you while respecting the way your partner feels. It can also be hard to establish new traditions, to make the holiday your own, when so much of what we feel around the holidays is prompted by the way things were done while we were growing up. Half of the time you’re fighting the urge to say things like “well the way my mother did it…”
Dan and I have worked really hard to be respectful of each other’s wishes, traditions, and beliefs. But, as in most cases, there are some things we just won’t ever see eye to eye on. For one, I hate surprises. I usually manage to keep half of what I’m giving him for Christmas a secret. He loves surprises. I could put his presents unwrapped in the closet and he would never peek. We also like totally opposite kinds of cookies. I don’t mean that he likes chocolate chip and I like sugar, I mean that he likes soft, chewy cookies and I like them to crunch.
This was a problem when I made gingerbread cookies last week. You see, I like very thin very crunchy gingerbread cookies. Snaps, if you will. He likes them soft. And… I forgot. The first batch I made were super crunchy, the kind of cookie that you have to dip in a mug of hot chocolate to eat. Dan gave me sad puppy eyes while he was gnawing on one, so I made another batch of very soft sugar topped ones, just the way he likes them. See, the holidays are about compromise. And cookies! Lesson learned.
4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tbsp powdered ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 stick butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in egg. Beat in molasses and vanilla.
Mix together all remaining ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
Divide, wrap in plastic, and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll out on parchment paper. Your dough should be 1/4 inch thin. For snaps roll the dough out as thin as possible. Put back in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Heat your oven to 350. Cut into circles or whatever shapes you want and bake 8-10 minutes for soft cookies, 20 minutes for crunchy. Let cool on a wire rack.