Thursday, October 1, 2009

Battle Gingersnap!!!

Oh, I'm so happy tonight! I just finished a mini-marathon of cooking in anticipation of my SO's return home after a long business trip. I'm sorry there are no photos -- I was speed-cooking and couldn't take the time to stage the shots, etc. The mini-marathon included a Sweet Potato Pie with a gingersnap crust, a meatloaf, mashed potatoes and Cream of Portobello Mushroom soup. All the recipes are what I think of as "Frankensteins" where I take pieces and parts of recipes and adapt what I've seen to what I have on hand, what I'm willing to buy and what I know I like.

BUT, the title of this post is "Battle Gingersnap" and without further ado, let's get on with it.

It's October and I will be headed to the Apple Festival this weekend. For me, a special treat is an apple with a couple of gingersnaps. But, oh, not just any gingersnap...of course, I have a favorite. In fact, it's a very particular favorite and it is the Ivins Spiced Wafer.

Ah, the Ivins Spiced Wafer: indigeneous to area where Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania intersect. Legend has it that they are made somewhere near York, Pennsylvania. Legend further has it that Acme Supermarkets have the corner on selling them.

If you go to Giant at this time of year, you will see Spiced Wafers, but if you pay attention, you will see they are Sweetzels and not Ivins. Do not be fooled! They are not the same. Notice how closely the packages resemble one another:

What's the difference? Ivins tastes a bit more of cloves and molasses, I believe.

Now, what to do with those Sweetzels? Suspiciously, both boxes have two recipes on them -- one for Spiced Squares (a cakey-brownie like thing with chocolate chips) and a Spiced Wafer Crust. Well, the aforementioned Sweet Potato Pie got the Spiced Wafer Crust treatment a la Sweetzels. Now, I'm down to just a few Sweetzels.

When I finally tracked down an Acme this year that had my Ivins, I found them perched atop the meat counter! I knew I would buy at least six boxes. I checked the expiration and found that they would be good till March. I stood in the store calculating my projected consumption. At least a box a month, I thought. Then, I factored in two more boxes to stash at my SO's. I have a dear friend in Florida that's hooked so two boxes to send to her at some point. I started piling boxes into my cart and when I got to ten, I figured I might as well go to twelve. When I got home, the bags of cookies did look a little crazy and I wondered if this is how people get started that end up on an episode of "Hoarders".

Truth be told, the Spiced Wafer quest is just the first phase of a cool-weather journey through the land of gingerbread delights. On my list of Christmas cookies I routinely bake is a wonderful, soft gingerbread cookie with icing...:-)
Food & Kisses, GiGi

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