Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps

Matt's homecoming balloonsWhile Jan and I were adventuring in Colorado to see Matt, the other four kids held down the fort at home.

Although they can all cook and had a stocked pantry, they lived on frozen pizza, canned soup, and ham sandwiches. 🙂

But then again – they probably didn’t have time to cook. They were much too busy cleaning the entire house, filling Matt’s room with balloons – each with a handwritten message or silly family memory –  and baking him these welcome home cookies.

While Matt was in Pagosa Springs he discovered a small coffee house that made the most wonderful chocolate chip gingersnaps.cookies

He raved about these cookies so much – that Dagmar went to work to replicate them for him.

And you know what? They are really good!

So good – they have earned a place on our Christmas cookie plates this year!

Soft inside with a touch of chocolate – they are everything I’m looking for in a cookie!

Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps
(adapted from Two Peas in a Pod)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 – 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 – 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
3 – 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 – 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar-for coating cookie dough balls

Cream together butter and sugar. Add the molasses, canola oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix until well combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Slowly add in the flour.

Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased baking sheets, about two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, the cookies will still be soft.

Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.


I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at At the Well.

The Great Western Adventure: Winter Edition Part 1

You aren’t gonna believe what I did last weekend.

Not in a million – trillion years. I actually lived it – and I still don’t believe it!

I flew in an airplane – yes me, the claustrophobic one who can’t even sleep in a sleeping bag and is deathly afraid of heights  – flew in an airplane to see our oldest son Matt graduate from the Summit Semester Program in the Rockie Mountains near Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

At least that was the original plan. But things don’t always go as planned…

We booked a flight to Denver, were we planned to catch a connecting flight to Albuquerque, rent a car and drive north to Pagosa Springs.

We were going to spend Thursday night in Pagosa Springs, all day Friday with Matt and fly out of Albuquerque on Saturday.

Oh – and did I mention that my husband went on line and found a super expensive hotel room in Pagosa Springs for Thursday night – at a bargain basement, non-refundable price? We’re talking a hot tub with a mountain view, king size bed with a dozen fluffy pillows, and thick cotton sheets. 🙂

Let me tell you folks – we are more of a Super 8 kind of people so I was really excited at the very thought!

flying above the cloudsThe first leg of the trip went well. We checked in, made it through security just fine, and I didn’t even have a panic attack on the plane! We was feeling pretty confident as we landed in Denver.

Then we saw the snow –  a lot of snow. We had flown right into a winter nightmare.

Our connecting flight was delayed. Then they changed our gate, then our plane, and finally 2 hours later they canceled our flight.  We were re-booked at a much later flight into Albuquerque – if it made it out at all.

We discussed our options. We could spend 6 hours waiting in the Denver airport and hope the flight makes it in to Albuquerque at midnight and then drive 3 hours to Pagosa Springs – or we could rent a car and drive the six hours to Pagosa Springs ourselves.

I mentally did the math and saw myself in the hot tub in Pagosa just about the time the flight was taking off. Take that United Airlines!

Besides, I trust Jan behind the wheel of any car in any weather before I would trust some pilot who looks younger than my 15 year old son to fly me over the Rocky Mountains in the dark in a snow storm.

Just saying.

So with the vision of a hot tub with a mountain view dancing in my head – we rented a car and headed south out of Denver. What’s a little snow – right?!

Wrong! The roads were slick and travel slow until we hit Pueblo, where for about 15 minutes Jan actually got up to speed before it starting snowing again. By the time we saw the exit to Walsenburg he was driving on sheet ice.

He turned in the first exit and into a motel. Remember what I had been anticipating for weeks? Hot tub with a mountain view, a dozen fluffy pillows, and heavy cotton sheets?

This is what I got.

the hotelCirca 1960.

Trust me – the furnishings were original. I walked in and felt like I was in Goodwill – on the wrong side of town.

It looked like the Brady Bunch should walk out – and I mean the early Brady Bunch before Greg’s voice changed.

Two flat pillows and no hot tub -actually there wasn’t even a tub. And the whole bathroom listed to the north making the toilet more of a rocking chair.

And it was cold. Really cold.

I put on layers of clothes, climbed in the lumpy 1960 mattress, pulled the threadbare blanket up to my chin and fell asleep listening to Vince Gill sing a duet to Miss Piggy on TV.

I’m not even kidding.

Not exactly the night of luxury I had anticipated.

Between the lumpy mattress, the cold, the worry about the weather, and second guessing our decisions, neither of us slept well.

But we must have slept some – because we woke up – and the sun was shining.

We hit the road early.

Of course we had to stop at a restaurant for breakfast since one wasn’t served at the “hovel hotel”. Come to think of it – it didn’t even have a coffee maker.

At this point, we were beginning to see the humor in the situation – at least until we headed west out of town.

To be continued…