My grandmother made brandy snaps and put them in pretty tin boxes for friends around the holidays. To make the hollow logs, she wrapped the just-baked dough around pencils. According to my mother, my grandmother would have cleaned her out of her #2 pencils for school by mid-December. I never had the chance to taste the originals, but I've certainly enjoyed the recipe since it was passed down to me! —Haley Priebe
60 to 70 cookies (feel free to halve the recipe)
Stir butter, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, and ginger together over low heat until melted.
Remove from heat and add flour and brandy. Chill the dough until firm enough to shape, about 20 minutes.
Roll into 3/4-inch balls and place on the baking sheet. Leave room for them to spread.
Bake for approximately 12 to 13 minutes on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
When the cookies have cooled enough that you can touch them but they are still warm (about 5 minutes), use a spatula to pull them from the sheet and quickly roll them around a pencil to form tubes (rubber gloves recommended to prevent your fingers from burning). When the cookies are flat, they should look almost like a lace cookie. They are very fragile, so if you over bake, they'll break and be too brittle to roll; under-baking just a smudge is good.
If you'd like (and are serving immediately), whip up some heavy whipping cream and dot each end of the rolled cookies with it.