"Cookies are made with butter and love."- Norwegian Proverb
By now you all know October is National Cookie Month, right? So in the spirit of sharing and without further ado, here is my favorite Ginger Cookie. It's got some yummy, fragrant spice to it, perfect for fall.It's crisp around the edges then soft everywhere else with some nice added crunch from the coarse sanding sugar. It also makes a mean vehicle for ice cream sandwiches, if you are feeling like taking it in that direction (lemon or blackberry sorbet would be nice inside, but vanilla ice cream would also be delicious or vanilla ice cream with some lemon curd folded in....just sayin'). I do offer one quick variation at the end, too, if you are looking to dress them up a bit.
Chewy Ginger Cookies
2 1/2 cups (11 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons, scant, baking soda*
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 sticks plus 2 Tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
sanding or pearl sugar
1. With a whisk, mix together the first seven ingredients; set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on low speed until well combined.
3. On low speed mix in the egg, molasses and vanilla. Increase speed to medium to help combine the mixture well for about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to low.
4. Mix in flour mixture until just combined.
5. Remove bowl from mixer and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for 24 hours. This gives all the spices time to really meld into the dough for the best flavor.
6. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Remove dough from fridge and scoop out using an ice cream scoop to get uniform cookies. Dip cookies into sanding or pearl sugar. Place dough 2" apart on prepared baking sheets. Lightly pat down the tops of the dough.
8. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 10- 12 minutes until edges are golden brown and center seems set and crackles. Cookie will have puffed up, then sank back down.
Variation: White Chocolate-Ginger Chews: Stir in 1 cup of fine quality, coarsely chopped white chocolate such as Lindt, Callebaut or Valrhona into batter after the flour. Proceed as directed in the recipe. The sweetness and creaminess of the white chocolate is a really nice complement to the spiced dough and looks really pretty , too.
* Note: this recipe is for cooking at high altitude (about 5,000 ft, where I live). If baking closer to or at sea level, increase baking soda to 2 1/4 teaspoons.