Since time immemorial, it’s accepted in tropical parts of the world that eating something hot when temperatures are high will make you feel cooler. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but there’s science behind it. Ingesting hot stuff makes you sweat, which is the body’s natural way of cooling off. Also, there are chemicals in some foods, like chili peppers, that react to our body chemistry and make us sweat more – and then cool off.
Ginger snaps are my favorite cookie, so as we swelter through this ‘worst-that-I can-remember-in-forty-years’ summer in Washington, I realize it might be time to start thinking about changing how we eat to accommodate these weather changes. I took my favorite ginger snap recipe and made several half batches, adding varying amounts of chili powder to find just the right amount of heat to get the body glowing and cooling off. I really like these; in fact they may be the first cookie meant to be paired with a beer.
Ginger Snaps for Global Warming
Prep time: 45 minutes
Makes: 2 dozen large cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- Demerara sugar for sprinkling on cookies before baking
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Sift together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ground ginger.
- Add sugar to softened butter in a mixing bowl and cream until light.
- Add egg, molasses, and chili powder, and blend in dry ingredients.
- Using a small scoop, shape dough into bowls and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
- Bake on Silpat-covered baking sheet, sugar side up, and bake for 9-12 minutes.