PHOTO BY T. MIKE FLETCHER
With the holiday season upon us, this makes the perfect gift for those who love to bake and give...or bake and eat.
These cookies are a mouthful of flavor. They should be crisp when cooled, and the flavor gets better as they sit in a tin (so plan ahead). The three types of ginger give the cookies a bite that leaves a lingering taste and makes you reach for one more.
Brown sugar is used for flavor and augmented with molasses. Molasses is not just sweet; it adds a depth of flavor like nothing else. The spices add even more complexity.
This recipe makes a lot of cookies. However, it is impossible to eat just one, and it is difficult to make half a recipe. Since they last forever in a tin, they are great to have around or to give away.
- 1 3/4 cups brown sugar (350 grams or 12 1/3 ounces)
- 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks, 225 grams, or 8 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons light molasses
- 2 cups flour (280 grams or 10 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 salt
- Sanding or pearl sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the sugar, fresh ginger, ground ginger and candied ginger in a processor. Process to finely chop the candied ginger.
- Combine the sugar mixture with the butter and vanilla. Cream until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and molasses; beat until combined.
- Add the flour and beat to incorporate.
- Chill before proceeding.
- Make cookies, then roll them in sugar.*
- Be sure to leave enough room between them because they spread a lot. Double pan.
- Bake for 18–20 minutes.
- Wrap in film and refrigerate until firm or overnight.
*There are several ways to make the cookies. I dropped some of the dough with a #100 disher, rolled them into balls and then rolled them in either sanding or pearl sugar.
Another way to finish is to divide the dough in two, three or four pieces and roll into 1-inch to 1 1/4-inch rolls. Using this method, you can freeze the logs for later use. Slice the cookies slightly thinner than 1/4 inch and place on the cookie sheets. Double pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from the baking sheets.
Yields: about 125 cookies.
Helen Fletcher has more than 25 years of experience owning and operating a wholesale specialty bakery that services hotels, restaurants, and caterers. She is the pastry chef at Tony's and runs the blog Pastries Like a Pro.