I love the idea of giving edible gifts for the holidays. So much of the time I struggle to find a present for someone – I don’t know what they want, I don’t want to spend a ton of money – and end up picking something random knowing full well that it will be regifted in the near future. In hopes of helping us all avoid that fate this year, I’ve put together some ideas for edible gifts that I’ll be sharing over the next several days. Who doesn’t love receiving something tasty, right?
First up, I’ve paired my favorite ginger cookies with a delicious spiced apple cider. The cookies are big and chewy with just the right amount of ginger. The cider is sweet and warm and begging to be spiked. Whomever you give them to will be filled with holiday spirit and as a bonus, your house will be filled with scents of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger while making them. If you’re feeling extra jolly, throw in a bottle of brandy to add to the cider. Beats a magazine subscription any day.
Spiced Apple Cider
From Bon Appétit, October 2012
- 1 gallon apple cider, preferably fresh (the darker the better)
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- Brandy, Calvados (apple brandy), or bourbon (optional)
Combine cider, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring spiced cider just to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook just below a simmer until flavors meld, about 1 hour.
Strain cider through a sieve into another pot or heatproof punch bowl; discard solids in sieve. Add brandy to taste, if using. Ladle hot spiced cider into cups.
Adapted from here
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Place dough in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden. Shape the dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. If the dough starts to get too sticky, put it back in the refrigerator to reharden. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.