my staples: junuary gingersnaps

IMG_2865Sometimes one just needs a reminder that one can snap back, whether it’s a tomato plant in rainy Junuary or a teacher in the last two weeks of school or a student on the other end of the stick or a dog who wants to lie in the sun or a voice that has gone flat.  These tried and true cookies, one of my first recipes thrown out on the internet a-many years ago, will help. They help keep you peppy with the triple snap of fresh, powdered, and crystallized ginger.

It occurs to me that these would be quite good with a substitution of teff flour.  The texture of my teffernutters (almond butter-teff flour-chocolate chip cookies) is rather similar, and the molasses would ease the march into Wholegrainsville.  If you experiment, please let me know.

Junuary Gingersnaps

(Adapted from recipe in Cookies Unlimited by Nick Malgieri)

Aim for 40 small cookies.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped preserved ginger (optional)
  • demerara (or other large-grain) sugar for rolling dough balls before baking

Set racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. In a mixer bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~3 minutes). Add egg and beat until smooth.

Lower beater speed to the slowest setting, then add half of dry ingredients.  When combined, ratchet up the speed and add the molasses, grated ginger, and preserved ginger. Turn off the mixer, scrape down bowl, then repeat with second half of dry ingredients.

Set mixture in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Form 1- to 2-inch diameter balls of dough and roll in a small bowl containing demerara sugar. You can use regular sugar, but the bigger grains of demerara sugar make a pretty cookie.

Place balls on cookie sheets covered with foil or parchment, leaving about 2 inches between balls.

Bake about 15 minutes, or until cookies are crackled and darker in color and firm to the touch. (N.b. my light cookie sheet doesn’t allow them to crackle, but my dark one does, so you should not gauge doneness by crackle alone.) Cookies will crisp up as they cool.

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