Flicks & Food With The Domestic Diva: VALENTINE'S DAY Triple Ginger Cookies

IMG_5305 Yes, I'm aware that V-Day has already come and gone (praise Jebus!

I'm actually talking about the movie, VALENTINE'S DAY, the rom-com dribble pumped into the theaters over the weekend to capitalize on the already over-capitalized holiday that is Valentine's Day.  A day no doubt invented by the greeting card, engagement ring and florist industries in a giant Oliver Stone-worthy conspiracy.  And yes, the movie is chocked full of all of the above: greeting cards, engagement rings and even florists.  In fact, the main character is a bouquet-wielding florist played by the punking king himself, Ashton Kutcher.  I mean, in what lifetime would you ever buy that Kutcher was a pink shirt sporting, flower arranging, engagement ring popping on Valentine's Day without a hint of irony florist??!!

Oh, sorry, do I sound an itty bitty tiny bit bitter?!

Well, that's because I am bitter, just like Kara, Jessica Biel's neurotic PR character.  Bitter that I sat through this movie.  Bitter at all the commercials I had to endure for the weeks leading up to opening weekend.  Bitter at every one sheet hoisted up on bus stands and loaded with so many teeny tiny thumbnail pics of A-List stars that in a stroke of evil genius only appear in the movie for six minutes (ahem, Julia Roberts). Bitter that like the rest of America, I'm a big sucker willing to fork over a few bucks in the name of romance, even commercialized romance. 

Which explains why, despite the shiteous reviews, the movie had a huge $65 million opening weekend. We know we're being manipulated into celebrating a made-up holiday.  I mean, does anyone even know who the heck this Valentine guy is?!  (Actually, they do explain this in the movie for all you deep thinkers out there.)  But we're a country of capitalist sappy sad sacks who think we can buy everything, from happiness, to health, to love, for the sake of a few bucks.  I wish I could say I was different, that I resisted the artificial V-Day tug, but I tottered into theaters over the weekend with a gaggle of girlfriends, too.  I was lured by the promise of the glossy sheen of unfettered romance thrust up on the silver screen, and while the movie didn't deliver, I know that I have only myself to blame.  I mean, it's not like the reviewers didn't try to warn me.

And while I'll shoulder some of the blame for going, make no mistake that this film was constructed by studio executives with a wonky script in their hands and dollar signs in their eyes.  And New Line is laughing all the way to the bank - and preparing to torture us with a sequel set on New Year's Day (groan, my other least favorite holiday).  Oh, great, just think of all the fabulous holidays they can exploit from St. Patrick's Day, to Arbor Day, to Secretary's Day.  The possibilities are literally endless, especially when you don't actually have to make a good movie or worry about pesky details like character development, just stuff more stars into it than can be found at Vanity Fair's Oscar party. 

I'm sorry for the diatribe, but please understand that while I love movies - even cheesy commercial ones - I despise the kind of cynical, capitalistic decision-making that goes into making films like this one.

Alright, I hope I didn't crush any egos or step any anybody's toes by stating that this movie is a big gooey, sugary mess of a cake that didn't rise.  Which leads me to food, finally.  Yes, this is a "Flicks & Food" column, so you had to know that was coming eventually.  When you leave a horrible movie like this feeling, well, horrible, I decided that the best remedy is to take a little advice from candy-a-holic Kara and indulge in something sweet, but with a little bite, too.  So I decided to write up my famous Triple Ginger Cookies!  These sweet, buttery hunks of goodness will melt in your mouth, but not without kicking you in the ass first, just like Kara.  I mean, isn't spicy ginger the perfect antidote to too much sugar?

So this one goes out to all you "I Hate Valentine's Day" people like Kara!  I know you're out there, and I promise these cookies will make it all better. 

Until the sequel, that is.

VALENTINE'S DAY Triple Ginger Cookies
Makes about 40 small cookies
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes

4 ounces (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled & finely minced
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup crystalized ginger

Preheat the often to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer until smooth (about three minutes).  Add the minced ginger, ground ginger, vanilla, flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix until the dough comes together.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick.  Cut out cookies with a round cookie cutter.  Push a small piece of crystallized ginger into the center of the cookie.


Bake in the oven on parchment paper until the edges are lightly golden (about 10-12 minutes). Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.  Enjoy!

Wine Pairing
Alright, no wine for this dish!  Instead, I recommend a nice herbal tea like Lemon Ginger served with a little raw honey, spicy and sweet, yum yum yum!

DD profile pic About the Author
JENNIFER DAWN ROGERS … A graduate of Harvard University and a former film development executive, Jennifer cooks and writes in Los Angeles.  In 2009, she launched her blog Domestic Divas (www.domesticdivasblog.com), which focuses on local, organic cooking, restaurant and wine reviews.  She is currently writing her first novel.

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