Thursday, October 24, 2013

Soft Ginger Cookies

I am all about baking right now. That's not so great for my waistline, but that's's almost sweater season, right?! I can't help it. I definitely couldn't pass up making soft ginger cookies. This recipe took some time to get just right. I tried so many ginger cookie recipes but some fell flat, weren't ginger-y enough, were too much like molasses spice, or were more like a ginger snap. I wanted a thick, soft cookie with tons of ginger in it. I ended up combining multiple recipes to get this one. Finally, my search for the perfect ginger cookie is over. Now it is time to enjoy...

Soft Ginger Cookies
Servings: ~16 large cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger*
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup diced crystallized ginger (use 1/3 cup for spicier cookies)*
1/2 cup turbinado (raw) sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, allspice, pepper, and salt together. Set aside.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until well combined. Beat in the molasses until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the crystallized ginger and mix on low just until combined. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Place the turbinado sugar in a shallow dish or small bowl. Roll the chilled dough into balls of the desired size, ~2 tbsp each, and place in the bowl with the turbinado sugar. Roll the balls in the sugar to coat. (I used an ice-cream scoop to scoop them directly into the sugar and tossed them in sugar using a fork. This way the dough and sugar didn't stick to my hands. Less mess!) Place on the prepared baking sheet. (Store the extra dough in the refrigerator between batches.) Gently press the tops of the cookies down ever so slightly using two fingers.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, one baking sheet at a time, or until the tops are cracked but the center is still soft and slightly undercooked. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes (don't skip this because the center keeps cooking). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cooled cookies in an air-tight container.

*If you don't have crystallized ginger, then increase the amount of ground ginger to 1 tbsp.

Source: adapted from multiple sources

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