Gingerbread Man


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.

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This, the second Spoonflower fabric (of many more to come next year and beyond), is called:

Gingerbread and Eggnog, and the artist is:

hollycejeffriess

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Triple-Ginger Cookies

  • 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.

NOTES:

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.

25 thoughts on “Gingerbread Man

  1. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the title “Gingerbread Man”. I cannot resist Gingerbread anything! Your recipes all stand up to the test of scrumptious’ness, but this one has blown me over and landed me into the cookie store searching for Gingerbread anything. Making them would be much more rewarding and satisfying, and I will plan to take on this fun while I’m stuffing my mouth full of “just okay” store bought cookies because I can’t wait… !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much appreciated, Tamara!

      The store-bought varieties (ginger snaps, gingerbread people, etc.) are fine, and they’ll make the season sparkle brighter, but if you cook up something in your own kitchen, you will have made Christmas legendary. Consider the most deeply flavored gingerbread cake in your experience, then triple it and put it in convenient cookie form. This is the reward awaiting you.

      Oh, and if we don’t talk again before this weekend, Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hasn’t it though, Tamara?

        Busy, Busy, Busy is what makes the happy memories. Looking back, we’ll treasure these moments above all others. Doing a whole lot of nothing? Meh, forgotten it already.

        So, keep going. Warm, fuzzy contentment is where this all leads.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennifer – same to you!

      In fact, take a break and enjoy the holidays. You’ve been a busy blogger lately, creating content both here and on Instagram, and updating your podcast, and putting together a cool year-end retrospective, and…

      Mercy! You’re making the rest of us look like slackers. Take an evening, pour you and your husband some red wine, and watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas” again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tamara – same to you!

      Sure, I imagine WP has been slow. As has been everything else, really. Speaking personally, now (Sunday night) is the first I’ve been online since early Thursday morning.

      Oh well, there always is January.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a weird relationship with ginger cookies and gingerbread. I didn’t always like them owing to those afore mentioned ginger snap cookies my father used to love. I have made homemade gingerbread before though, which I liked somewhat better.

    Now though, since I’ve had the chance to try out at least one of your recipes and understand your level of expertise when it comes to food, I just might be tempted to try and make these some time in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Greatly appreciated, JoAnn!

      You know firsthand the advantages offered in wrangling your own ginger supply. Whether you’re making cookies, actual gingerbread, or ginger cake, even the casual baker can coax enviable depth from those flavors.

      Ginger offers a complexity and a sophistication so much more advanced than one-note sweetness. Which may explain why many of us didn’t gain a true appreciation until we were adults.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Same to you, My friend!

      I see your Christmas wishes and raise you one New Year’s Day.

      Try to get one holiday in on me, and I’ll send two back to you. Both after-the-fact too. That’s how you do it.

      By the way Rachel, you’ll be interested to learn the chocolate version of these cookies is planned for one year or another. Something to anticipate, and to make sure you save room for dessert.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, just chocolate, Rachel.

        …as though anything involving chocolate is merely “just.” Double Chocolate too, meaning they’ll have to be really good to live up to all the anticipation.

        We won’t know for sure until they emerge from the oven, but things already are looking good!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh absolutely, Rachel! You remembered after all this time, too? Way to burnish your foodie credentials.

        The cookies already will be dusted with flaky sea salty, but there’s always room for another add-on. Personally, I think coconut would make an excellent travelling companion. Good instincts!

        You likely will want to use sweetened coconut, as unsweetened probably won’t be quite assertive enough to dance with the salt and with the (double!) chocolate.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sure, Rachel.

        Just so you know, the Double Chocolate Cookies were planned for summer 2025. That’s entirely too far into the future. I’m gonna see what I can do to move that forward a bit. Maybe a substitution here, a switcheroo there. I think I might draw on a few favors. What’s the point of having them if I don’t use them?

        All chocolate’s glory, don’t you know?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a pretty accurate ingredients list, actually. Much appreciated, Mar!

      In addition to tasting wonderful, ginger calms the stomach, making it one of the tastiest medicines out there. In fact, I usually add it to chicken soup in the winter. I rarely get colds, but even so, enhanced chicken soup always makes me feel better!

      Like

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