Thursday, October 27, 2011


A couple of days ago I showed you the card I was sending to my Dad with some Halloween treats.  He has the package now, so I can show you what was inside...


These gingersnaps are one of our family favorites.  My mother used to say that if she had a nickel for every gingersnap she had rolled she'd be a wealthy woman!  Some of my early memories of helping in the kitchen involve rolling the balls of gingersnap dough in sugar before they were baked.

We have made this recipe countless times and have worked out ways to be super efficient in rolling and baking.  The dough should be mixed and then chilled for a few hours or even overnight before rolling the balls for the cookies.  It helps to have at least two people when you are ready to bake the cookies - one to roll the balls of dough and the other to roll them in the sugar and place them on the trays.

An important extra step in the baking is to hit the trays on the oven door when you are switching the position of the trays halfway through the baking time (top to bottom and front to back).  This helps to create the cracks in the cookies.  The degree of cracking seems to depend on other factors as well - humidity, length of chilling time and the choice of margarine, butter or other shortening for the dough.


This particular batch did not get very dramatic cracks.  They always taste delicious - no matter what they look like!

With Halloween just a few days away I think it is interesting to see how trick-or-treating has changed.  Today you have to be very careful about what you hand out and so many of the trick-or-treaters seem to have allergies or restrictions on what they can eat - parental approval is definitely required.  My mother used to give out these homemade gingersnaps in little bags.  Parents would tell their kids not to eat any candy until they came home so it could be checked.  Several neighbors confessed to Mom that they used to "confiscate" the cookies to have them for their own special treat! 

I have been working on making up family recipe cards - I started this project several years ago and from time to time I get organized enough to do another recipe.  I still have many to do.  I do the recipe cards digitally and eventually I might put them together into a family cookbook.

I started with this idea of making up cards with photos of the result of the recipe when I first began using the Creative Memories StoryBook program.  The program has gone through several versions and the 4.0 upgrade was recently released.  The latest version offers a free 30 day trial that can be downloaded from my CM personal website HERE.

I have done several versions of the recipe cards.  The 8 x 8 page above was done for a recipe swap a few years ago.  If you look carefully you can see that the "photo corners" are actually little clusters of cookies.  I used the StoryBook software to create digital cookie embellishments.   I designed the frame using Cricut Design Studio in one of the earlier versions and used the Cricut markers to outline the frame.  The design was inspired by some of the serving plates that my mother had - clear glass with round beaded edges called candlewick glass.

I think you can read the recipe from the photos if you'd like to give it a try (just click on the image to make it larger).  This recipe makes a double batch.  It is pointless to make a single batch - if you are going to go to the work of rolling and baking you might as well get seven to eight dozen cookies!

Thanks to all of you who made suggestions about my troublesome card in yesterday's post.  I had considered embossing the background - it actually is a textured shimmer cardstock and looks better in real life than it appears in the photos.  My cold seems to have turned into a sinus infection and I was feeling rather "uncrafty" and grouchy - thanks for being patient with me!  I will give it a second look and may do a "new and improved" version.

Do you have some traditional family recipes?  How do you keep the cooking traditions going and pass them along to the younger generations?  Have you ever made a recipe scrapbook?

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  1. Those look yummy! We are Italian and have lots of dishes that my Mom and Grandma made thru the years. It is great that you are making recipe books. If I was making something, I would call Mom or Grandma and get help. I took it for granted that I could call them for help. Well both of them passed this passed May/June. I am trying to get the recipes from other family members. It has taught me that these things are important to collect before your loved ones pass.

  2. I love Ginger Snaps! Thanks so much for your wonderful posts, and for sharing! I love your step by step instructions. You are the best!

  3. Wow your cookies look so delicious, will definately try these! My father also loved gingersnaps. I am making mini albums for my family this Holiday. My adult children will be getting a paper bag mini, combination photo/recipe album, which can hold a lot of stuff. These albums are sooo much fun to make. I am excited as they are turning out great! Have three more to go! Happy scraping!

  4. Thank you for sharing!!! In addition to being addicted to crafting, I'm also addicted to recipies!!!

    My daughter, as she gets older, has been re-writing some of my recipe cards - however, some of the cards are written quite quickly and she says she can't read my handwriting (and sometimes I can't either!!!). I'ts been painstaking to try to decipher them for her!! So I have started typing a few - this is a good idea, to put them into some kind of binder. My sister-in-law's mother found a couple of journals at a flea market and she gave both girls a handwritten book of family recipies. I've "recipe-lifted" a few!! It is a good idea - my mom and mother-in-law have both passed away and there are times I've had a few questions for them. We do a family cookie bake and one of the favorite recipies is Mom's sugar cookie recipe - it's made with sour cream - it makes the cookie a bit softer than the hard sugar cookies.

  5. Ps: forgot to leave my name on the comment - Rosy. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Oooh, these look delicious! I'm going to try making them as soon as possible. I made your recipe of "Robert's Swedish Apple Pie", and it was wonderful!

    I've thought of scrapping a recipe book, but I'm such a terrible procrastinator and have never gotten around to it. My family has certain recipes that we always eat at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I'd love to hand those recipes down to my sons eventually.

    Wendy T.

  7. Thank you for your ginger snap cookie recipe. My husband loves ginger snaps but my recipe calls for shortening and I don't like putting shortening into my cookies. I will give yours a try.
    Linda in Stanwood

  8. My darling little neighbor girls were selling products to raise money for their school, so I bought two blank recipe binders to fill and give to my grown daughters for Christmas. Your recipe is in time to add it to their books. Two years ago I did the same for my two young grandsons. I love gingersnaps, so I can hardly wait to make them. Thank you Diane.

  9. You are really going to make us fat. I made the Swedish Apple Pie about 3 times now and it is turning into my husbands favorite dessert. Now I need to try the cookies. We both love ginger snaps so I'm sure these will be a hit! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Those look delicious and what a cute treat for your dad!

  11. Thank you for the recipe!!These were my husbands favorite..I love that you used the Storybook creator..I just got the 4 and have yet to use it! Now I am excited to try it.I make about 100 coffee can loafs of Pumpkin Bread every year and give it away as gifts..I would love to make labels so maybe I will give this program a try...Thanks again...Jeanette


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