I’m getting antsy for holiday baking season. I’ve been doing it long enough now that I have a ritual. Some particularly frigid weekend in mid-December I take an expensive trip to the grocery store and come home with supplies for a weekend in the kitchen. I crank up the holiday tunes, pull out my mom’s recipe book and my own favorites from the internet and get to work. I bake all. weekend. long.
We aren’t quite there yet, but my patience is wearing and I’m auditioning new recipes so that when the season for baking and holiday music begins (day after Thanksgiving in my world) I’m ready.
This weekend, Chris and I found ourselves with an unprecedented amount of free time. Which is to say we simply ignored the massive mountains of boxes in our living waiting to be unpacked and decided to enjoy ourselves instead. We went on a long walk and saw As You Like It ($12 tickets for 35-and-under-year-olds-SCORE) on Saturday night. Sunday we tried Leopold’s Cafe for brunch in G-town and then spent a few hours getting work done at Chinatown Coffee.
By the time we got home at 3pm, we had already gotten work done, run done, dinner planned, and groceries bought. What to do with all of the free time left in the day?
Audition cookie recipes for the holiday baking season, of course. I found the recipe whilst perusing the December issue of Bon Appetit. Overall, the cookie section seemed a little weak this year but these little gems caught my eye. Ginger is up there on my list of favorite ingredients ever and ginger 3 ways just seemed too interesting to pass up.
All of the chopping and mincing was a bit tedious but the results were well worth it. These cookies had the perfect spicy bite, a nice echo of molasses, a good chewy texture, and they are actually almost low fat (per cookie that is).
I usually take my weekend baking adventures to work after the weekend. While these bribes treats usually go over well, today I received at least 6 emails about how yummy they were. There were lots of exclamation points involved. On an extra-busy and dreary Monday morning, I take that as a very good sign.
So yes, basically these cookies rock. I’ve noted my changes to the recipe and process below. Add them to your holiday cookie-baking rotation now, you won’t be sorry.
Preheat to 350°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, crystallized ginger, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. (If using unsalted butter, up the salt ante a little bit)
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in both brown sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, molasses, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed just to blend between additions.
Place 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon dough. Roll into ball between palms of hands, then roll in sugar in bowl to coat; place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, spacing cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until surfaces crack and cookies are firm around edges but still slightly soft in center, about 15 minutes. (They won’t look done necessarily, I baked mine a few more minutes and wish I hadn’t)
Cool completely on sheets on rack. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.