Gingersnaps with Juniper Berry Glaze
Along with my Spruce Flavored Sugar Cookies, these Gingersnap with Juniper Berry Glaze Cookies are becoming a Christmas staple in my house.
I’ve always been a fan of Gingersnaps. When I moved out of my parent’s house for the first time and I was on my own, I went to the Dollar Store and bought a few boxes of those “Break Time” Brand Gingersnaps. The box of cookies was $1.25…Cheap!
I would sit on the couch, watch a movie, and INDULGE. Dunking each cookie in milk until the whole box was done. I would hit the Dollar Store once a week and replenish my cookie stock. Let’s just say I gained 10lbs (maybe more) in the first month I was on my own. Oh snap! I was becoming a soft round cookie myself!
Moderation was a word that soon entered my home and a rule…no eating after 8pm. I formed a habit of eating Dollar Store cookies! A habit I had to break. Oh, but how I loved those Gingersnaps!
About a year later, I moved away to work on a Guest Ranch – Chilcotin Holidays. I was there to become a Guide, but before I could become one of their Guides, I had to take their Horse Packing Course, which was not until April. I moved there in September, so I had a seven months to kill first. As I had a Guiding Certificate from my Ecotourism course, they did use me to come along on a trip or two, but as a cook, not an actual Guide. I mainly cooked in the Lodge itself, for guests and staff.
One of the things that was on their menu was Gingersnaps. I had to bake 8 dozen a week. Let me tell you, these were not your “Dollar Store Gingersnaps”; these were much better of course. Homemade quality cookies!
This recipe, along with many other recipes, came home with me when I finished my time with the Ranch. I never did take their Horse Pack training. Before April came around, my sweetheart, the one I would marry, was waiting in Vancouver for me and I decided to be with him and find a new job in Vancouver.
There are dozens and dozens of Gingersnap recipes on the internet and in cookbooks. You can pick your favorite Gingersnap recipe. There is nothing ‘special’ about this specific Gingersnap recipe; it has all the same ingredients of other Gingersnap recipes, but every time I make a batch, it brings me to my Ranch days. Plus, I like the texture of this cookie myself.
It is the Juniper Berry Icing that brings it to the next level. I find the flavor of the Juniper Berry in the same flavor class as Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon and Ginger, so it really compliments and ties-in with the cookie, while adding that ‘extra’ something.
Juniper Berry Glaze:
- ½ cup of Milk
- 2 tbsps. crushed Juniper Berries
- 2 cups of sifted Icing Sugar
Hopefully, you already have Juniper Berries on hand. If not, you can go to your local Health Food store and they most likely have some.
To make the glaze, crush 2 tablespoons of Juniper Berries in a coffee grinder or spice grinder. Or with a Pestle and Mortar. Or you can even put them in a Ziploc bag and run a rolling pin over them…or crush them with a mallet.
Place them in a small pot. Add ½ cup of milk. Put on the stovetop on low…like setting 1-2. The idea is warmth will help infuse the flavor. You do not want to burn the milk, so keep it on low.
As you let your milk and Juniper Berry infuse, bake your cookies!
Once your milk is reduced by half, it’s ready for straining. We are going from 1/2cup of milk to 1/4cup of milk. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your stovetop. Low and slow will make a stronger flavored infusion!
Strain your mixture with a fine metal sieve. Take the back of a spoon and press the milk-soaked berries through the fine metal sieve. This will get more of the ‘berry pulp’ and the berry skins will be left behind. There won’t be too much to press through and the pulp will transfer on the underside of the sieve, so be sure to scrape it off and add it to the milk infusion.
Add ¼ cup of the milk infusion to a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer, add icing sugar in small amounts – up to two cups, or desired consistency. It should have a ‘runny’ texture…but not really runny.
Take cooling racks and place wax paper underneath (wax paper will make clean up easier when the icing drips off the cookies). Place cookies on top.
Transfer icing to icing bag, or by spoonful, drizzle icing over baked, cool-downed cookies.
Leave on cooling rack until icing has set.
Transfer to your favorite Cookie Jar or Christmas Tin!
Makes approx. 2 dozen
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- ¾ cup Shortening
- 1 cup of White Sugar
- ¼ cup Molasses
- 1 Egg – beaten
- 2 cups of Flour
- 2 tsps. of Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1.5 tsp of Cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp Clove
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 2 tsps. Ginger (or more to taste)
1) Cream shortening, sugar molasses, and egg until well mixed and slightly fluffy.
2) In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients together and mix well.
3) Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients.
4) With clean hands (no rings), mix well.
5) Using a small cookie scoop, scoop cookies onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Note: at this stage, you can dab each cookie into white sugar to have that coated sugar look. But since we are adding a glaze, I would recommend skipping the extra sugar.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will have a ‘cracked’ appearance.
7) Transfer to cooling rack (with Wax Paper underneath).
8) Once cool, drizzle Juniper Berry Glaze over the cookies.
9) Let glaze set