Ginger

Happy December!  I couldn’t let the first day of the month pass by without sharing a cookie recipe, right?  It’s the first of many that will be popping up here over the next couple of weeks as I test new recipes in the hopes of finding just the right mix of cookies to include in my holiday trays this year.  This morning I was thinking about the first year I put together cookies for family and friends at Christmas.  It was 2007, and I’d really just started learning to bake a few weeks before the holidays rolled around.  To say I was a baking novice would have been a major understatement so it was an ambitious undertaking to make so many cookies, but I loved it!  I’ve made treats every year since; it’s become one of my favorite holiday traditions.     

Ginger

These cookies scream holiday, with a double dose of ginger flavor from ground ginger as well as crystallized ginger.  If that wasn’t enough, there’s also molasses in the recipe.  I whipped these up last month when I traveled to Connecticut with Nancy to meet Dorie Greenspan.  I consider Nancy an ultimate authority on ginger/molasses treats, so I was excited when she gave these cookies two thumbs up.  The cookies are wonderfully chewy – just be sure not to overbake them, you really do want to take them out when the cracks that form on top still look wet.  They’ll firm up as they cool.  These cookies are good keepers – you can make them several days in advance and, kept in an airtight container, they’ll still be just as delicious as they were on day one.  I always like to add a ginger or molasses treat to my cookie trays, and this recipe is a strong contender this year!

Ginger

Double Ginger Crackles
from Fine Cooking

10 oz. (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350 F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, molasses, and crystallized ginger and mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, beating until incorporated.

Pour the remaining 1/3 cup sugar into a shallow bowl. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the sugar to coat completely. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, allowing about 2 inches of space between them.

Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies are puffed and the bottoms are lightly browned, about 12-14 minutes. If you touch a cookie, it should feel dry on the surface but soft inside. The surface cracks will look a bit wet.  Remove the baking sheets to cooling racks and let the cookies sit on them for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to the racks to cool completely.