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1  COOKING / Dessert / One woman's quest to save the spice cookie on: December 08, 2010 08:35:35 AM
Hello, Craftsters.  

I've been a lurker for a long, long time, but I have never posted much and this is my first posted project.  It is rare that I find a topic I feel is as important as this one, so I guess it was time for me to share.  I'm talking of course about the diminishing number of spice cookies seen on Christmas cookie plates in recent years.  I feel that this disaster MUST be rectified, and NOW!

It may just be that you have forgotten how delicious the spice cookie is, or perhaps you just have horrible memories of the stale gingersnaps that your great-aunt Shirley used to give you when you were a child, but I assure you, spice cookies are a vital part of your cookie plate and trying this recipe will remind you of that fact!


3/4 cup butter (the recipe says shortening, but I don't keep it.  It goes rancid in my house.)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger (if you have it, the cookies are even better with the extra ginger)
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Cream the shortening and the brown sugar. Stir in the egg and molasses and mix well.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture and mix well.

Cover and chill dough for at least 2 to 3 hours. OVERNIGHT IS EVEN BETTER.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

Roll dough into balls the size of large walnuts. Roll balls in sugar and place 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.

FYI, I am all for cutting sugar, but don't skip rolling these in white sugar before baking.  The sugar will caramelize and really give these a great crisp exterior but leave the inside dense and chewy.

2  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Pant pattern blending on: January 06, 2009 09:35:37 PM
I've never tried to blend a pattern before.  Now I am going to have to.

I have a giant waist, but the rest of me is smaller.  I'm also a bit petite. 

Is it safe to blend the largest waist size on a pant pattern with the smaller leg width and shorter crotch rise?
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Kenmore 158.523 Any resources? on: December 14, 2008 11:43:37 AM
Here is a picture, but this isn't mine, just an auction I found.  Mine looks like it has a different motor and it needs a three prong foot pedal/power cord that is missing.  I think this one has had the motor replaced.


I know she was made in Japan.  Any idea who the manufacturer was?  Maybe their site will give me more information?

She weighs a million pounds.  I have a feeling if I can get her running she will serve me well.

4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Could someone with hand problems loom knit? UPDATE! Loom knitting is fun/easy! on: December 02, 2008 08:46:57 PM
I try and I try and I try to knit, but my hands just hurt too badly.  I think that I did some nerve damage when I used to wait tables.

I have not tried loom knitting before.  Could this be a solution?
5  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / What fast meals do you ALWAYS have on hand? on: November 30, 2008 06:26:59 PM
I always have a can of artichokes, cheese and whole grain pasta.  With a few herbs I can throw a good pasta dish together.

I also always have rice, onions, eggs and frozen vegetables to make fried rice.

I also keep black beans and salsa to put on tortillas or rice.

These are our staples, but they are getting a little old.  I'd love to know what some of your standby meals are.
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Email Advent calendar for my nephew far away--any ideas? on: November 24, 2008 06:20:48 AM
My six year old nephew lives far away from me and I don't get home often enough for him to know who I am at all.

Sadly, my brother has become a single parent after divorce and abuse.  My nephew has not seen his mother in months and I expect that the holiday will be stressful for little guy even though he is more safe.

I decided to do some daily emails leading up to Christmas with things like the Norad Santa tracker, pictures of Uncle Jameson and I decorating, Christmas jokes or poems, and craft ideas he can do with Granny.  I asked my mother to be sure and talk about me a bit and sometimes make an extra goodie to give to me when I get home.

I'd love any ideas you all have to pass along to the little guy.  Links to cool games, craft ideas and such.

7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Pfaff Hobby 1016 on: November 18, 2008 06:34:53 PM
 I've been wanting a sewing machine for a long time, my el-cheapo Brother that I had gotten for my 16th birthday died a few years ago and I just never replaced it (the good news is that with light use it did last me almost 14 years).  My Grandmother is giving me her Pfaff 1016 that she bought for taking south when they used to travel.  She never cared for it so it's mine.

   This Pfaff looks kind of cruddy too though.  Has anyone used it?  Any opinions?
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Do you have a great drop sugar cookie recipe? on: November 07, 2008 11:11:47 AM
I'm looking for a sugar cookie that is chewy with crisp edges.  Do you know of one?

9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Are you familiar with Castle Molds? on: November 03, 2008 06:01:43 AM

I have a handful of these molds and I love to play with them.  The brick making is a pain, but the construction is really fun.

They're meant to make minis for RPG gaming, but we really don't game much. 

I just wonder if anyone has an idea for making something useful with them.  I can follow instructions but I'm not always super creative when it comes to thinking of projects on my own like you all are.

10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Thanksgiving at the in-laws. Help! on: November 03, 2008 05:43:05 AM
My in-laws eat food that isn't healthy all year long but at Thanksgiving it is the worst.

I've always brought some fresh brussel sprouts, squash, and other yummy veggies and roasted them but my husband and I are the only ones that eat them.

This year my mother-in-law is getting frail and needs more help, so what can I make that other people will like that will also be more healthy?

To give you an idea of their eating habits, they actually like fake mashed potatoes better than real ones and the only vegetable that will be served is corn.

I am not above deception!  I will hide shredded vegetables or use applesauce in baked goods and I will not be ashamed.

Any ideas?
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