Make It Snappy!

For years the town that I live in was a foodie wasteland. You could practically see old, yellowed and crumpled Dining sections of the New York Times blowing down Main Street. There was nothing, nada, zippo when it came to good food. If you wanted anything that was better than what the A&P carried, a trip to the city was mandatory. Then, about 3 years ago, a butcher came to town-not just any butcher, but a good one. He came with fabulous cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken. He had organic and free-range. And, he could butterfly, flatten, and prepare any special order with the best of them. A little glimmer of light began to shine in my food world. Then, this Fall, the unthinkable happened. A cheese shop- a good cheese shop-opened. Nirvana.

Yesterday I popped into said fabulous cheese shop (Dobbs & Bishop for all you locals!) for a dose of great tasting stuff that I really should not have. While I was there I ordered my favorite blue cheese- St. Agur. If you don’t know it, it is a fantastic triple crème blue that is sure to clog your arteries. That said, I assure you- you will die happy! Everyone loves this blue. My Julia has been known to steal crackers filled with it out of the hands of guests!

Anyway, back to the cheese shop. Leslie was helping me and she and I began a mutual admiration fest for St. Agur. It was all pretty typical (“such a great cheese”…”my favorite”….”so smooth”…”love it”) until it wasn’t… she said that her favorite way to eat St. Agur -or any other good blue- was on a ginger snap. Who knew?! Certainly not I!

So I quickly vowed to test this out. Today I baked my favorite ginger snaps. I have to confess that I was skeptical; that said, these are great cookies, so if the experiment failed, I’d still have a batch of great cookies, less a few sacrificed for the betterment of foodies everywhere! How bad could this be? I made the batter-takes 10 minutes- let it firm up in the fridge and then sliced and baked my cookies. I let them cool-but just barely-and then spread blue cheese all over them. Ooh, was Leslie ever right! Julia and I love them and when a five-year-old and a forty-five-year old agree on a cocktail nibbley, you know you’ve hit one out of the park! Kudos to Leslie for the tip!

Ginger Snaps

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
½ c. molasses
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
4 t. ginger
2 ½ c. flour
Preheat oven to 375

Place sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Melt butter-get the butter very hot, but do not let it burn-and pour over sugar. Warm molasses (30 seconds in the microwave) and add. Mix well. Add vanilla and mix.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together and slowly add to butter/sugar/molasses mixture, beating well in between each addition.

Divide dough and, using parchment paper, form into two rolls. Chill dough until firm- about one hour. Slice as thin as possible and place on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

****Dough can be frozen and sliced and baked as cookies are needed.

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