11 December 2011

Op ALPHABET SOUP: Back to G... this time, for GINGER!

It's Christmas time again, and that means back to the holiday baking. This weekend I started the preparations for what will be a scaled down version of our usually holiday fest. Posting that I'd made ginger cookies on Facebook generated a lot of requests for the recipe for the cookies, so I decided to post it here for all to see.

And so, back to "G" we go.

This recipe is modified from the best ginger cookie recipe I've ever found, which originally appeared in the Holiday edition of the LCBO's "Food & Drink" magazine in 2003. There are a few variables that I'll include, and they allow you to tailor the cookies to your own taste.

A note for the health-conscious: I don't recommend using whole-wheat flour in this recipe, as it drastically changes the consistency of the cookies.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Scant 2 Tsp baking soda
2 Tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
Generous pinch ground nutmeg OR ground cloves
Pinch salt

For rolling, you'll also need about 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, on a large plate.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone cooking mat.

Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter until it is fluffy. Add to this the brown sugar and egg and molasses, and beat thoroughly until smooth and consistent in colour.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, soda, salt and spices. Add to the wet ingredients, and mix gently only until blended. Do not over beat!

Working with your hands, in small batches of 6-8, roll the batter into 1-inch balls, and place on the plate of granulated sugar. Roll gently to coat, then place on the prepared cookie sheet. Space the balls of dough about 2 inches apart. Flatten very gently with a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes. Using a thin spatula/lifter, place cookies on rack to cool. They will crisp up as they cool. Once the empty cookie sheets have cooled, you can do your next batch of dough.

Extra tweaks and Adjustments:
  1. If you prefer a less chewy ginger cookie (ie more of a ginger snap), you can add another 1/4 cup of flour to the recipe. 
  2. If you like darker ginger cookies, swap out another 1/4 cup of brown sugar for the same amount more of molasses.
  3. And finally, the original recipe called for crystallized ginger to be used in addition to the dried spices. Chop the pieces into small bits and add to your dry mixture, stirring to coat the pieces well so they don't clump up. Then just mix it all together as indicated above. I don't usually bother with this because I like the fine, delicate texture of the cookies without it, but in truth, the crystallized ginger was a tasty addition when I did use it, too.

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

No comments: