The Culinary Cellar has a New Toy!

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I got a new camera!  It’s a Canon DSLR, which is a huge upgrade from my old Canon 35mm.  I even got an extra zoom lens.  These two photos are my very first attempts –  what do you think?!  Since I am new with this toy, I will take any advice you care to offer.  The above photo was taken in the kitchen with sunlight coming in from behind.
This photo was taken outdoors on the front porch in cloudy mid-afternoon light.  I couldn’t believe the color difference in the cookies.  I think this is going to be fun.  I may have a new obsession and will now start collecting dishes, fabric, props, etc.  Oh, dear…   I only have one basement…
The cookies are wonderful!  I found the recipe in a cookbook that my girls bought me called “The Swedish Table” by Helene Henderson.  It caught my eye because I have never seen gingersnaps with whiskey.  The other recipes in the book sound fabulous, too.
Whiskey Gingersnap Cookies

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup molasses, maple syrup, or dark corn syrup
1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon whiskey
3/4 cup salted butter, cut into small pieces
4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

In a medium heavy saucepan combine sugar, water, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves.  Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and the fragrance of the spices has been released, about 5 minutes.  Stir in whiskey and let cool for 5 minutes.  Transfer sugar mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and gradually add butter pieces, blending well to melt butter.  Add flour and baking soda.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut dough into thirds.  On a lightly floured surface roll out pieces, one section at a time, until they are very thin.  Cut with desired shape of cookie cutter and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake cookies 8-10 minutes, watching carefully as they will burn quickly depending on the thickness.  The number of cookies depends on the size of your cookie cutters, but will make about 7-8 dozen.


9 Responses to The Culinary Cellar has a New Toy!

  1. December 4, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Congrats on the new camera. Were you still using old-fashioned film? I still like to take photos with my ancient Pentax manual camera. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age.

    As someone who loves interesting/beautiful dinnerware (and has far too much of it), I can’t wait to see your new props.

  2. December 4, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    Kristina is always pushing me into the digital age and a camera was next on the agenda. I used my old Canon with film for years. Have to admit I love the new camera already. I will be searching antique stores, Goodwill, and garage sales for interesting dishes, and still cookbooks of course!

  3. December 4, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and Tuesday Morning are great places to find interesting dishes at good prices. They have a lot of nice pieces from Italy and Portugal. I’m looking forward to seeing photos of your new table settings.

  4. December 4, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    News flash! I just received the following email about the 2nd photo above with the cookies in the red box:

    Hi culinarycellar,

    Thank you for your recent submission to foodgawker. Your post titled “Swedish Gingersnap Cookies”
    has been accepted and will appear on the site shortly. To see a list of your posts,


    Wow! On my first try! I’m so excited!

  5. December 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Congratulations! That picture looks good enough to eat. I’m sure the actual cookies are delicious. I may have to add the recipe to my holiday baking list.

  6. December 6, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    Wow-you are so incredibly talented. The photos are beautiful and I will be baking these cookies. The whiskey gingersnaps–which did you use-molasses, maple or corn syrup and when they say roll out thin–1/8th-inch thickness?

    You are going to have more fun then ever searching for props in addition to cookbooks. Got to get your signature on my hat!

  7. December 6, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Thank you, sweet Lisa! I used molasses and rolled them very thin, about 1/8″ like you said, but they looked thicker in the photo. Maybe it was the angle. Those are the most fragrant gingersnaps I have ever made and it will now be my go-to recipe. I recently bought a new bottle of ground cardamom from “The Spice House” in Milwaukee and I think that had something to do with the intense fragrance.

  8. December 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    thanks for the tips. I was thinking of using molasses or maple syrup. I wonder if Penzy’s might be the east coast version of the Spice House. I love going into their store and sticking my nose in all the spice jars.

  9. December 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    The Spice House is just like Penzy’s. I love going in there and smelling all the goodies, too. I bought more than a few Christmas gifts. It’s a hard place to resist.

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