These cookies are definitely High Tea worthy at The Empress Hotel in Victoria
This is the time of year I get most homesick. For the next six months when it gets so cold in Nova Scotia, I mourn for the much more gentle winters on Vancouver Island. As a result, I have been drawn more and more to the cookbook The Flavours of Victoria my friend Shelagh bought me. I have been enjoying it immensely.
This was a tough week for me and I knew the only way to turn it around was to bake cookies.
I love that you can see my kitchen window’s view of the bare trees reflected in this glass mixing bowl. Click here to enlarge.
Oh how I wanted to tinker with this recipe! I normally never use shortening, always preferring butter, but I held fast to most of the original components of the recipe. I personally do not need 40 cookies so I did divided the recipe in half. I still needed a big bowl so if you are going to make this get the biggest mixing bowl out that you have. I will share the original measurements here with you.
Cream together 3/4 cup of shortening with 1 cup of sugar. (BTW, a friend via Twitter made these with butter and they were awesome!)
Beat in 1 egg and 1/4 cup of molasses.
In a separate bowl sift together 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cloves. I used a little less cloves. OK, I said I tinkered a bit! Blend dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
The recipe says to shape into small balls. I used a small ice cream scoop that I use for making truffles and it worked perfectly.
I rolled the cookies in some PC Organics Sugar that I love to use for baking occasions just like this! Of course you can just use regular sugar but there is something special about this sugar that I love.
Place the balls two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 350F preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. I think I baked mine for 8, you really do not want to over bake these. They should still be soft when they come out of the oven. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.
Oh how I love the crackling!!! That is what makes these cookies so very unique and stunning.
Normally I would wait until my tea is ready before indulging in a bite but the cookies smelled so good, I just could not wait! Now that is a first. Light, airy, melt in your mouth… absolutely divine! For those who like chewy cookies, do not despair, these get chewier the next day.
These were so perfect, they blew my mind! Five out of five wooden spoons!
Until I can finally indulge in high tea at The Empress Hotel I will just have to make special treats myself. One day I will get back home. Until then, I am off to visit Victoria through more recipes.