Monday, December 27, 2010

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Salted Ginger Cookies

Every year around Christmas, we make batches of pliable, chewy ginger cookies. In addition to fresh and powdered ginger, the cookies are spiked with white pepper and coarse sea salt, then covered in sugar before baking. When they come out of the oven, they’ve spread from jaw-breaker sized balls to 2-3” flat discs. They keep well enough, but freeze whatever’s not eaten within four days.

We’re on day No. 3 and I don’t think there will be any call for a freezer.

Salted Ginger Cookies

½ cup/110g brown sugar
½ cup/100g white sugar
½ lb/226 g unsalted butter
1 egg
1/3 cup/80ml molasses
2 ¼ cup/280g all purpose white flour
1 Tbl fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp powdered cinnamon
½ tsp powdered allspice
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp coarse sea salt, mounded*
2 tsp baking soda
Additional sugar for rolling dough balls*

Cream the butter and sugars together in a stand mixer. Mix in the egg, then the molasses. Then add the remaining ingredients (except rolling sugar) and blend thoroughly until it forms a stiff dough.

Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C/Gas mark 3.

Chill at least half an hour, then roll pieces of dough in your hands to form into 1” balls. Roll these in granulated sugar, then arrange on a greased sheet pan (or, as we do, one lined with a silicone mat). Bake about 12 minutes. Cool on a rack.

* Note on the salt and sugar: Free-flowing table salt isn’t what you want here. Part of this cookie's appeal is its random distribution of small, irregular chunks of grey sea salt. If it’s too large, crush it a bit, but you don’t want the salt completely pulverized. We usually use white table sugar for rolling the dough balls, but demerara would be nice and possibly even large-grained German hagelzucker (though I use that one for other cookies, I haven't tried it with these). 

Don't feel like making ginger cookies? Make ginger pie

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