Auburn Sigurdson, Senior Partnership Architect & Brand Builder
Growing up with two sisters and a brother, our family was what you might call ‘blended’, but never felt that way to me – especially around the holidays. Over the years, as our family grew and evolved, so did our traditions – but one thing always stayed the same was the Christmas Eve cooking throwdown.
Each person in the family (now nine adults and three children) is tasked with conjuring and cooking up a small dish, as we set out to eat from 6pm to midnight until our bellies ache from fullness and laughter. At the end, declaring the best dish the winner. The champion earns the honour of having their recipe immortalized in the family cookbook – which my mom illustrates with beautiful drawings and later mails copies for each of us to add to our growing binders.
It is my favourite night of the year – experiencing the personal touch of each contributor, from my Italian foodie brother-in-law, to my health-nut sister, to my internationally travelled parents – it is an indulgent adventure each time (and thankfully we run off a few of the calories the next morning in our annual Christmas Day football game).
I have only graced the pages of our family recipe book a few times to-date – but here is the one my sisters beg me to make each year. Our favourite cookies.
Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the juice (a splash more than the prescribed tablespoon is ok – and brings out the ginger flavour). Fold in the molasses and mix until well blended. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients from the medium bowl into the large bowl with the butter mixture. Add the diced ginger and stir well.
Let dough stand for 1 hour (ideally, refrigerate to give the cookies that nice crackled look once baked).
Put raw sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into walnut sized balls and roll through the sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking try covered in parchment paper. Push dough down slightly with a fork. Bake in preheated oven (350° F) for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
This recipe should produce over two dozen soft cookies. Enjoy!