There’s No Made Like Home for the Holidays (A three part Christmas Special)

Part one-Get it Together!

So there are these unethical food manufacturers out there trying to convince people that refrigerated or frozen logs, blocks, and tubes of raw cookie matter become magically “homemade” just because you apply heat to them with your own oven. They want you to believe you don’t have time to make actual homemade cookies. They are lying. YOU HAVE TIME FOR TRULY HOME MADE COOKIES!

I will strengthen this theory with the best evidence I can conjure- I will show you how to make the most complicated and challenging cookie I know of: the Moravian spice cookie. It takes several days and much determination to concoct these confections. I will show you every step of how it is done. You have time for this. Here is the recipe:

Moravian Spice Cookies

½ cup butter
1 cup molasses
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour

Yes, the recipe is correct- you will stick more than four and a half cups of dry ingredients together with a mere half cup of fat and a single cup of highly viscous liquid. You can do it. I have faith in you. Here’s how it’s done:

Prelude: On December 20, 2014 I took a stick of butter out of the refrigerator at 6:30am, before leaving for a 6-hour shift at my Big Girl Job (a.k.a. research assistant at UMASS Medical School). I got home, changed clothes, ate lunch, and started making soy wax candles (a.k.a. Christmas gifts) with Mr. Food It Yourself.

While waiting for the wax to reach the perfect temperature I completed the first movement: making the dough.

Put the butter and brown sugar into one bowl and smash them together with the back of a wooden spoon. This is called creaming. If your butter is soft and room temperature it's really easy.

I. Put the butter and brown sugar into one bowl and smash them together with the back of a wooden spoon. This is called creaming. If your butter is soft and room temperature it’s really easy.

Here it is- a smooth paste of butter and sugar.

II. Here it is- a smooth paste of butter and sugar.

Now add the molasses. If you're smart you'll save the paper that stick of butter came in and rub the inside of your measuring cup with it. Sticky stuff slides right out! Now mix that in, too.

III. Now add the molasses. If you’re smart you’ll save the paper that stick of butter came in and rub the inside of your measuring cup with it. Sticky stuff slides right out! Now mix that in, too.

All the other ingredients are the so-called Dry Ingredients. Mix them together in another bowl.

IV. All the other ingredients are the so-called dry ingredients. Mix them together in another bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient slowly, a little at a time.

V. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient slowly, a little at a time.

 

 

At some point your spoon will fail you and you will have t get in there with your hands. This is the fun part the frozen dough tube people don't want you to know about.

VI. At some point your spoon will fail you and you will have t get in there with your hands. This is the fun part the frozen dough tube people don’t want you to know about.

Keep mixing until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Don’t over work it, though.

 

Here it is, ready for an overnight chill. See you tomorrow!

VII. Here it is, ready for an overnight chill. It took me about 30 minutes to get to this point, including searching my pantry for all those spices. (Darn allspice hiding behind the ice tea mix like a coward!) See you tomorrow for the next step.

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