A few weeks ago, I picked up a book at the library: Cookies – 200 Favorite Recipes (by Fine Cooking). It has 6 different variations of a ginger cookie, with different textures and spice profiles! So I picked one, modified it and got fabulous results. I like to replace “regular flour” in ginger cookies with rye flour. It is more nutritious, its flavor pairs well with molasses and it has a somewhat chewy texture. The fine layer of sugar on top of the cookies makes them crunchy on the outside and hits the perfect sweet note.
Baking temperature: 350 °F
Baking time: 12-14 minutes for 1 tbsp size cookies (a.k.a. heaping teaspoon)
2 1/4 cups rye flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
some grated nutmeg (I’m sensitive to nutmeg so I used about 1/8 tsp… I just put enough to smell it when I mixed it in)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1 large egg (room temperature)
1/4 cup molasses
5 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
3 tbsp granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Put dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk (or fork) until well blended.
- In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and molasses. Beat until smooth. Stir in finely chopped ginger.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir until well blended.
- Refrigerate cookie dough for 1 to 12 hours. This allows the flour to “moisturize”.
- Spread 3 tbsp of sugar in a plate. Make 1 tbsp sized balls of dough, flatten them (to about 1 cm thick) and press top of each cookie into the sugar.
- Put cookies on a baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes, until somewhat puffy and surface is dry, except for cracks which look a bit wet.
- Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. I let my cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. Maybe some day I’ll try a cooling rack… or not.
The cookie dough freezes really well. I pre-form the cookies, sugar them and put them in a big rectangular glass storage container, separated by sheets of parchment paper. I put the frozen cookies on a baking sheet and add two minutes to the baking time.