Or gingerbread woman, depending on who’s pulling the trays from the oven. Not necessarily gingerbread cookies either, strictly speaking, but ginger cookies, at least. Point is, ’tis the season, and ginger is one of those things which make the holidays cozy, jolly and bright.
Better yet, imagine what a triple serving of the sweet would do for Christmas cookies. This isn’t a fevered dream, either, arriving only after drifting off in an armchair, snuggled beneath a blanket and awaiting St. Nick. No, somebody actually did this. That “somebody” is Bon Appetit magazine, which featured Triple-Ginger Cookies all the way back in December 2009.
The method, and hence the name, comes in using three different varieties of ginger to amplify each other. The flavor builds to to a soft and pleasing intensity. Hardly surprising when ginger appears in its fresh, crystalized and powdered forms:
In addition, the cookies include two different types of brown sugar, golden and dark, as well as a dose of molasses. These keep everything complex and chewy, a perfect companion for a tall glass of milk. This week’s lead photo should illustrate that point nicely.
These cookies are many things – heady, confident and comforting among them – and as such, they’re a delightful bribe for Santa Claus. One thing they aren’t, though, are ginger snaps. Sure, ginger snaps are good, and this blog is a fan, but those flat, one-note disks should stay on the supermarket shelves for the moment. This is the holiday of holidays, and the whole year has been building to now. Only a magnificent Triple-Ginger Cookie rises to the occasion.
Not only do they do that, the cookies also are comforting. Pleasing enough to get the plate in on the action. In a nice coincidence (a Christmas miracle?) “Warm & Cozy” describes the line of tableware, and also it anticipates the joys the service will deliver:
Leaving Triple-Ginger Cookies overnight for Santa earns an automatic upgrade from “Naughty” to “Nice.” In fact, don’t be surprised if he makes your house a priority from now on, reserving the best presents for you as well. For the idea to work, though, it’ll be necessary to resist the urge to devour the treat yourself, long before that clock strikes midnight.
This, the second Spoonflower fabric (of many more to come next year and beyond), is called:
Gingerbread and Eggnog, and the artist is:
- 2-and-1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup minced crystalized ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1-and-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 1-and-1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 1-and-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 cup sugar (*1)
Position a rack in the oven’s top third, and one rack in its bottom third. Preheat to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, crystallized ginger, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it’s creamy and light, about two minutes. Gradually beat in both brown sugars. Beat at medium-high speed until creamy, about three minutes.
Add the egg, molasses, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to blend. Add the flour mixture slowly, and in two batches. Maintain a low speed to prevent the flour from going everywhere. See that it mixes only until just blended.
Place 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl. Extract one tablespoon of the dough and, using your palms, roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the sugar until it’s coated, then place it on the baking sheet you prepared. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing cookies a bit under three inches apart (they will flatten and expand while cooking, and you’ll want to allow room).
Bake cookies until they’re firm around the edges but still are soft in the center, and the surfaces crack, about fifteen minutes. Cool on sheets set on rack.
1 – Though conventional cane sugar would be fine for this application, and it’s what Bon Appetit had in mind, a coarser demerara or turbinado sugar is perfect. It still has the requisite sweetness, but its more robust texture contrasts beautifully with the soft cookie beneath.