Every Wednesday in our town the entire school district has a 3/4 day of school, which means the kids get home an hour and a half earlier every Wednesday. I mentioned at the start of school last year that my kids aren’t the best transitioners. But the truth is, it’s not just transitions but everyday life that can take a lot out of the people of my house. Having time to unload and just be amongst their things, reading in bed, hanging out in the backyard, building houses for plastic animals with Legos or Magnatiles, taping beads to toilet paper tubes quietly in their bedrooms, or hanging upside down on the swing set is very important to their inner peace, especially for my daughters. On most days, by the time they get off the bus, there really isn’t much time for us to fit much else between decompressing, the occasional soccer practice, dinner, homework, and bedtime. So on Wednesdays, when it especially feels like an uphill battle to get to the weekend, that extra hour and a half is a treasure.
I have tried to make Wednesdays this school year special in some way. We have used this day to do something different for us, stuff that we might not normally do during a school week, things like apple picking or other “field trips,” working on a project together or figuring out a new game or craft. And one of my kids’ favorite things that I’ve done on Wednesdays is to have cookies for a snack ready for them when they get home.
I know, that doesn’t really sound all that different or special that I would bake cookies on any given day. And you’re right. It’s not. But all you need to make something special with kids around is to declare that it is special. So saying that they are special Wednesday cookies makes them special and always puts a smile on the face of a kid in a mid-week slump. Plus I’ve made BIG cookies – twice they were as big as my 7 year old’s head. The kids continue to be surprised since I really don’t like to make cookies bigger than a few bites. Also with all of the baked goods in and out the kitchen, the kids usually only get one or two cookies in a batch and then have to run the rest next door or where ever. Some Wednesday cookies have been the size of 4-5 regular cookies.
Now an old recipe of one of our favorite cookies has become the mascot of all Wednesday cookies: The Big Soft Ginger Cookie. It’s comfort with a little bit of spice. Add some frosting and it can carry you to the weekend.
Big Soft Ginger Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar + extra for rolling (sometimes I use half brown sugar and half white)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 heaping tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
- Whip the butter and sugar until fluffy in (or with) your mixer. Add in the egg, water and molasses and beat for a few minutes.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt and mix until combined.
- Roll the dough into balls, roll the balls until coated in white sugar and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size of your original balls. Take them out when the edges just start to brown. Let sit on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.
- Top with icing if you are interested. I don’t measure, but I’d guess that I use ~ 2 tbs melted butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and enough milk and additional powdered sugar to make it the constancy that I want, thicker for decorating, thinner for just glazing, just whip up by hand with a fork in a cereal bowl. I’ll drizzle it on or pipe it on from a sandwich bag with a corner snipped off.