Secret recipes (and too many cookies)

Even I — someone who does not celebrate Christmas or attend many (any?) holiday parties — got swept up in the annual cookie-baking frenzy this year.  I made Hanukkah half-moons (a variation on absurdly rich snowball cookies), refrigerator cookies with hazelnuts and, pictured above, triple ginger cookies.

Those ginger cookies captured most of my attention.

Years ago, I looked forward to receiving a box of fabulous triple ginger cookies from my sister’s boyfriend every December. They were spicy and chewy, with bits of candied ginger adding extra texture and heat. My daughter and I loved them. We asked for the recipe, but were told that it was a secret.

I’m still miffed that when my sister broke up with Matthew (“Mateo,” she called him), she let him get away with the secret recipe.

But this year, I thought: Things are different these days — there’s the Internet. offered this highly rated recipe and I gave it a try, doubling the amount of grated and powdered ginger but otherwise following it closely.

The first batch I baked had a good flavor but came out way too hard, so I reduced baking time to 11 minutes. Much better, but they still weren’t chewy enough, the candied ginger wasn’t as distinct, and the cookies seemed a little too puffy.  Too much baking soda? Different candied ginger? More butter?

I don’t know, but they just weren’t quite as wonderful. Let me know if you have any suggestions (and Mateo, if you’re out there — it’s time to share the secret!)

Maybe I’ll try again — next year.

For now, I am so burned out on cookie making, with all that butter and sugar. Basta! with the cookie baking!

It’s edging toward that time of year when I resolve to eat healthier snacks. Nice juicy, sprightly mandarins are my current choice (though I must say they do go well with the ginger cookies, and even the hard over-baked ones can be dipped in coffee or tea).

Satsumas are a type of mandarin. When sold with stems and leaves, you know they're fresh.



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2 responses to “Secret recipes (and too many cookies)

  1. Phil DEFAYE

    Hi Toby, It’s Phil and Jean. Jean is blasted out on cookies, also. But she has cut down a bit on the amount and types. Penuche Chews, ginger snacks,Pizzalas, Biscoti plus some of our neighbors pecan tarts and wine cookies. Thanks for thinking about us. cheers to Steve too.

  2. Cathy Mihalik

    I agree a satsuma looks good right now. I’m sugared out but I think next year would be a good time to explore ginger cookies. They look great. Sometimes memories are hard to match!

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