It wasn't too long before the caterpillars made their cocoons. It was magnificent to watch. I loved keeping an eye on them probably even more than the kids. In just about two weeks our chubby caterpillars had turned into gorgeous Monarch butterflies.
It was so thoughtful of Jane to share her caterpillars and ultimately the experience of watching a caterpillar become a butterfly... it was something that I hope everyone gets to do at least once in their life... It was that amazing --absolutely stunning. We plan to grow milkweed in our garden next spring. We understand the Monarch butterflies are dwindling in numbers...and milkweed is what they need...so milkweed we will grow!
|One last time to hold hands before they fly away.|
|Ready for take-off!!|
1st Place Sparkling Chewy Ginger Cookies
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen
½ cup shortening
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground cloves
4 Tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup medium and large crystal sanding sugar (for coating cookies)
Combine the dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Set aside
Cream shortening, butter, brown sugars, molasses and egg in a large bowl.
TIP: Creaming can take 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy
Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; mixing until dough begins to come together.
Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger.
Shape the dough into balls (about 1 inch in diameter).
TIP: Use a small ice cream scoop to keep cookies uniform in size.
Roll cookie dough balls in granulated sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees on the middle oven rack.
Let hot cookies rest on baking sheet for one minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
Tip: Using 2 sizes of sanding sugar, large and medium, gives each cookie an amazing sparkle and crunch on the outside of the cookie.
|Chopped crystalized ginger|
|I love to use a small ice cream scoop --all the cookies are uniform in size and therefore bake evenly.|
|Roll cookie dough in sugar before placing on parchment lined cookie sheet.|
|Space about 2 inches apart.|
|Cookies cooling and the paper trays that I love so much.|
|A proper thank-you|
To accompany the delicious cookies, a hand written, heart-felt "thank-you"-- the best kind of thank-you in my humble opinion.
|The best kind of thank-you.|
We hope Jane liked the cookies, because we certainly liked the Monarch butterflies!!