I was out walking my dog nearly two years ago with my best friend Andrea. It was a warm, sunny May evening and I’ll never forget hearing her utter the four words no one ever wants to say: “I found a lump.” We both reassured each other that surely it would turn out to be nothing. But it didn’t. It was cancer and there was so little I could do to help her as she went through the frightening, arduous journey of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. One of the little things I could do for my friend and her family was bake.
Oh, how I baked – bread, cookies, muffins, cakes, and cinnamon buns. I nearly wore a groove into the pavement delivering baked goods from my house to hers! This story has a happy ending: she’s now in remission and her future is full of promise. Nevertheless, I still bake for her family. It has become a gesture that lets them (and other family members and friends) know I'm always thinking of them. It makes me so happy to get texts from her big kids thanking me for making their favourite treats.
I wanted to provide Andrea with the healthiest food possible during her cancer journey. Her husband and daughters are active, athletic people so I knew they would be equally glad to enjoy treats baked with their heart health in mind. Becel Buttery Taste contains 80 per cent less saturated fat than butter, has zero trans-fat and is made from simple blends of plant and seed oils (with no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours!). This margarine is also a breeze to bake with even right out of the fridge, which matters to me because I don’t always know ahead of time when some sugary love may need to be baked and delivered!
I think one of the reasons these cookies are so popular (besides being baked with lots of love!) is because they taste like old-fashioned comfort food - like a soft, chewy hug. They’re not too sweet and offer up an intoxicating aroma of traditional spices. The bonus is that they’re actually heart healthier than some cookie recipes, because they’re made with Becel Buttery Taste margarine.
These cookies are easy to prepare and they make your house smell amazing when you bake them.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup Becel Buttery Taste margarine
1/4 cup molasses
white sugar for coating
Combine white sugar, flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and ground allspice together and set aside.
Cream the sugar and margarine together, then beat in egg and molasses.
Blend in dry ingredients and stir till thoroughly combined.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least one hour. This allows the flour to become fully hydrated so the dough is firm and easy to shape.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Shape dough into one inch balls and roll each one in white sugar to coat completely. (If freezing dough balls, don’t roll in sugar until you are ready to bake them.)
Place dough balls 2-inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Don’t flatten the balls – they will flatten as they bake.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. They are done if the tops have started to develop cracks across them. Do not over bake – you want them to still be quite soft coming out of the oven.
Let cool on baking sheets for 10-minutes before transferring to wire racks.
I usually shape the whole batch of chilled dough into balls but then bake up just a dozen or so. The remaining dough balls go into an airtight container for the freezer, where they can be safely stored for three months. This makes it a whole lot easier to bake up a batch of homemade love on a moment’s notice.
Becel Buttery Taste can replace butter on a 1:1 basis in almost all of your favourite recipes!
Makes 3-4 dozen, depending on the size of your dough balls.