We’ve made it to the home stretch! Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? This time of year always flies by. I’m almost done with my holiday shopping, just have a few last minute items to pick up and the last of my mailings went out today. Now it is time to just kick back and relax a bit!
Gingersnaps are probably one of the most recognized holiday cookies. I’d always preferred sugar cookies over ginger cookies but I may have been persuaded with this recipe. The perfect amount of fresh ginger, chewy (not a fan of crunchy), and well, I think they look pretty. I think Santa agrees!
This recipe came from Alton Brown, Good Eats 3. It’s a really amazing book and would make a great gift for a foodie. And Amazon is selling it at half the price I paid for it. We were lucky enough to meet Alton at one of his book signings this past fall, but you had to buy the book from the store to get a ticket. Which of course meant buying it at full price. It’s a steal at $18! I also got the Sugarplums recipe out of this book. And the marshmallows. Can’t say I don’t use my cookbooks, right?
These cookies are easy, which is how Cookies for Santa should be. You don’t want the added stress of complicated cookies this time of year. Chopping the ginger was the most time consuming part. I omitted the candied ginger because I knew that would be too much ginger for my taste buds, but added extra fresh ginger, 4 tsp instead of 2 tsp. And the fresh ginger makes a huge difference. Don’t omit that. It takes the cookie to a whole new level.
I used a tablespoon scoop and baked the cookies for 12 minutes to get them perfectly chewy. If you prefer a crisper cookie, just bake longer, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Adapted from Alton Brown
Yield: about 30 cookies
- 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 ounces dark brown sugar (just under 1 cup)
- 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick + 1 tsp)
- 3 ounces molasses, by weight (1/4 cup)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 4 ounces finely chopped candied ginger (optional – if you add candied ginger reduce fresh ginger to 2 tsp)
- coarse sugar for sprinkling on cookies (optional)
Note: I’ve provided conversions in case you don’t have a scale, but I can’t vouch for the accuracy.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, clove and salt.
3. Place the brown sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until light and fluffy,3 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Add the molasses, egg and fresh ginger and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger, if using, and using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with paddle until well combined.
4. Using a 1 TB cookie scoop, drop the dough onto a parchment lined half sheet pan approximately 2-inches apart. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more crisp cookies. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.
5. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Store in an airtight container for up 10 days (trust me, they won’t last that long!). If desired, you may scoop and freeze the cookie dough on a sheet pan and once frozen, place in a resealable bag to store. Bake directly from the freezer as above.