Ginger snaps are admittedly one of Peter Luongo's biggest weaknesses when it comes to holiday treats.
There's so many things Luongo loves about Christmas. As a principal at Gordon Greenwood Elementary, he loves the excitement that envelops all the children in his school leading up to Christmas.
As the music director of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble, a lot of his energies are focused on the band's upcoming Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 16 (3 p.m.) at the Peace Portal Alliance Church in South Surrey (www.langleyukes.com).
And as a father and husband, he loves the season for all that it does to bring his family together. So, on behalf of himself and his wife Sandi, as well as Mark and Tracy, Lisa and Matt, Paul and Stephanie, he's sharing one of his favourite holiday recipes. The smell of these cookies will apparently bring at least one of Santa's musical elves to his knees.
LUONGO'S GINGER SNAPS:
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup molasses
½ cup melted shortening
½ cup clear, hot tea
1 tsp baking soda
3½ to 4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
Mix molasses, sugar, hot tea, soda, salt, and spices.
Let stand until luke warm, then add flour and mix until well blended.
Chill dough overnight, or at least two hours, before rolling it.
This improves the flavour and makes the dough easier to roll out.
Roll ¼-inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with a round cookie cutter.
Bake 350ºF for eight to 10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.
. This recipe has been used in many homes for at least 100 years. Chicken fat in place of shortening added "flavour" to the originals.
. Our great-grandmothers revealed their ingenuity by utilizing whatever was available as a means of getting cookies to the oven. Molasses and ginger cookies were the most widely made, since molasses was common and spices were considered a staple in every household. White sugar, when it became available, was used only for special occasions at a wedding, a christening, or when the minister came to call.
There are those who claim that ginger snaps can never taste as good as the ones made in the old wooden stoves of our great grandmothers. However, today our approval comes from the finished product in a convection oven.
- Peter Luongo Langley Ukulele Ensemble