Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great Eats: Molasses & Extra Ginger-y Spice Cookies

And so begins the winter baking season. From humble sugar cookies, to biscotti, to more complex affairs, more than presents, it's the baking and the giving of them that, to me, says "Christmas" most of all.
However, my cookies are unlike most - as you'll see, they are as loaded with spices as my curries. I am not interested in making simple, silly cookies - I want mine to be dark, complex - even spicy. For me, it's also important to be conscious of the calories I put into them, and so I'll cut the butter by as much as half. The results are unexpected, and always a crowd-pleaser. In fact, these were taken to a pre-Thanksgiving dinner recently and were quite a hit. 

See why:
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Gingersnaps

2 1/4 cups flour (I used wheat, but all-purpose is just as good)
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2" fresh ginger, peeled and diced very finely
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and molasses and beat until combined. Pour in the dry mixture and continue beating at low speed until just combined. Thoroughly scrape down bowl, ensuring ingredients are evenly mixed and form into a ball.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least two hours, as it will be quite soft. Once chilled, split dough in three equal pieces and wrap each in the plastic wrap. Using the plastic, form the dough into logs about 2" in diameter. Cut the dough and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If dough becomes too soft to handle, place in freezer before continuing.

Bake at 350°, about 11 minutes, until the center is no longer soft to touch. For more crunch bake a few more minutes, but no more than 15. Let cool on sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring.

And enjoy! These mildly-sweet treats are great with whipped cream on top or dipped in tea or coffee.

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