Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two Types of Gingerbread Cookies

As I mentioned in my previous post, The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap has been bringing dozens of cookies to bloggers across the nation for the past couple weeks.  I thought about baking my popular oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, or maybe my caramel scented chocolate chip cookies, but I've already posted both of those recipes, and according to the rules, this recipe had to be an unposted one.  I also wanted the cookies to have a holiday feel to them, something to snack on with a cup of milk in hand, while wrapping presents (you know, if you're the type to wrap presents early).  So I went with a quick and easy gingerbread recipe that requires no wasted time rolling and cutting shapes.  In fact, if you don't want to, you don't even have to chill the dough.  It has just enough ginger to be lightly spicy, but is well balanced by cinnamon, all spice, and cloves, and gets just enough of a little kick from some black pepper.  The recipe for these gingerbread cookies makes about 40, which is just perfect, since one batch was enough to mail a dozen to three random food bloggers.  Olivia over at Love, Life, and Pictures was one of the recipients, and she took this gorgeous picture of the gingerbread cookies I sent her.

If you're looking for a more adult, more dark and spicy cookie, this second recipe is for a more mature crowd.  They are laced with real ginger and rum.

Gingerbread Cookies
barely adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
yield: about 40 cookies

2 sticks butter, softened (I used salted)
¾ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup unsulphured molasses + scant tbsp
1 large egg, room temperature
½ tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and molasses together until fluffy, about three to four minutes on medium. Add the egg and salt and beat until combined, about one minute. Add the spices (ginger, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper) and beat until smooth and combined, about one minute.
Sift in the flour and baking soda and beat at low speed until just combined.
Scrape down bowl, fold, and stir with a spatula to ensure the ingredients are evenly mixed.
Transfer your cookie dough to a plastic container and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 2 days, until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and spread at least two inches apart on baking sheets that have either been lined with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or silpat.
Bake for 11-14 minutes.  In the 11-12 minute range, the cookies will be softer. In the 13-14 minute range, a bit snappier.  Either way, leave the cookies on their baking sheets to cool and firm up before moving them.  [note: I have a convection oven and baked two sheets at a time with no negative consequences]

Cookies will keep for about one week in an airtight container at room temperature (if they last that long) or one month in the freezer. Unbaked dough can be kept in the freezer for up to two weeks and then baked when desired.

Chewy, Spicy Ginger Laced Cookies
3 tsp finely grated fresh peeled ginger
1 tbsp rum (optional)
3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup + 2tbsp molasses
1 ⅓ cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
2 ½ cups all purpose flour

First, optional, macerate the ginger for at least 20 minutes in rum.
Cream the butter, molasses, and sugar until light, airy, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt and beat till well combined.
Add the grated ginger, rum (if using), ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and mix until everything is smoothly incorporated, at least 2 minutes.
Sift in the flour and baking soda and mix until just combined.
I like to refrigerate this dough overnight to let the flavors really meld, but you can bake these cookies off immediately.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Form 1 inch balls of dough, spaced about two inches apart and bake for about 15 minutes.  If you like your cookies snappier, lower the heat to 200°F after 13 minutes and cook them about 3-4 minutes longer.


  1. These were delicious! The crisp crunch and the ginger were just PERFECT! Thanks ever so much for my batch!! I will be making these in the future!! Happy Holidays!!!!

  2. We enjoyed these at my house, as well. Thanks a bunch!

  3. Me dio grandes membrillos, y la receta que yo no soy feliz, me siento muy en juego! gracias de antemano
    Abordo un buena receta que ya ocupó un sitio como este
    recette couscous