Amazingly, the New York Times fashion critic, Cathy Horyn, is also an accomplished cook and intrepid baker. The equivalent would be if I, a food writer, were also a sleek fashion plate with a deep bench of vintage and modern pieces. This is certainly not the case, so I find her extremely impressive. She claims that these cookies are a Swedish- American tradition in her hometown of Coshocton, Ohio, but I feel they are the cookie equivalent of Paris Fashion Week: a modern, edgy take on a classic. They are truly remarkable, with a robust and smoky undertone that sets them apart from other gingersnaps.
3/4 cup bacon fat (from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds bacon), at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling
1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap) or cane syrup, such as Steen’s or Lyle’s
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the 1/4 cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Breaking off 1-tablespoon lumps, roll the dough into balls, drop into the sugar, roll to coat, and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are dark brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies
From CookFight: 2 Cooks, 12 Challenges, 125 Recipes, an Epic Battle for Kitchen Dominance by Julia Moskin adn Kim Severson.