Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bake Sale Betty look out!

Upon my arrival to The Bay Area we quickly decided that a visit to Bake Sale Betty's was in order.  As you know, we do love her chicken sandwiches and ginger molasses cookies to distraction!  In fact, I had been told by Hubby not return without a dozen cookies for him.
Waiting in line at Bake Sale Betty's
It was a beautiful day and a very nice one mile walk to her shop. As usual there was quite a line to the counter. I know the routine, when placing your order there is no messing around.
1. State your order.
2. Fork over the money
3. Move aside!
Before I stepped up to the cash register I mentally practiced my order. "Three chicken sandwiches, two dozen ginger molasses cookies and three lemonades, PLEASE!" Pay, Step Aside!

But when I got to the two dozen ginger cookies things fell apart.
"We have Oatmeal Raisin, or Chocolate Chip - no Ginger Molasses."
"Will you have some tomorrow?"
"Maybe, or sometime next week."
"Can I order some for tomorrow?"
"No. Your order is $27."
"Are you open Monday?"
"But Hubby said I can't go home without Betty's Molasses Cookies and I'm headed back to Montana early Tuesday morning!"
She shrugged, the sandwiches were paid for and I stepped aside...
The sandwiches were delicious, even without the lemonades, and we began plotting our return.

The next day I cut to the head of the line and asked, "Any molasses cookies? PLEASE???"
The same lady was at the cash register but no sign recognition crossed her face from yesterday's incident, "What we have is on the list." She pointed to the hand written sign on butcher paper... no Ginger Molasses. I slunk away.

The California Dreamin' Gurl did her best and made a batch of molasses ginger cookies that afternoon. We did enjoy them. She tried to convince us Hubby would would never know the difference but... they weren't Betty's.

On Monday morning The Pirate woke up with a mission: DUPLICATE BAKE SALE BETTY'S RECIPE! There was no putting him off as he excitedly danced from one foot to the other until I agreed. Off we went to Trader Joe's to pick up a few necessary items and it was then that a few more pieces of the puzzle became clear. California authorities  have found traces of lead in candied ginger and pulled the product from shelves of many stores. I'm sure Betty doesn't want to get involved and has just ceased making our beloved cookies. But The Pirate and I were not detoured. Perhaps Trader Joe had no candied ginger and we try the local produce grocer with success!

There were two test batches. Not only were we experimenting for taste but for looks. We decided on the second of the two test batches.  The Pirate was excited to share the recipe and wrote out several recipe cards for me and his aunts. I love the name he thought up for our recipe. Lucky you, I'm sharing!!
Fake-Sale Betty Ginger Molasses Cookies
Fake-Sale Betty's Ginger Molasses Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
4 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
2 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour
pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, molasses and spices. Then add candied ginger. Lastly add flour, soda. Roll 1/4 cup dough balls into sugar. Bake at 335 degrees (sea level) 320 degrees (high altitude) for 11 minutes.

I texted Hubby that Betty sent her regards. We were careful to pack the cookies just the same way we always do. When I arrived home and was unpacking I realized "the cookies" were slightly squished and told Hubby. He immediately came over to inspect them then carried them off to the kitchen.

Later. as he was eating his second cookie I asked, "Are they as good as you remembered?"
His answer? "Absolutely."

Hubby doesn't read my blog and I'm NEVER going to tell. Now you, too, are bound to secrecy!


1 comment:

Johanna Freivalds said...

I bet you meant 320° for high altitude :)