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Chewy Ginger Cookies

March 23, 2011

I adore anything ginger related. Pickled ginger, ginger beef, candied ginger, ginger tea, and especially ginger cookies. The flavor this little root brings to cooking and baking is exotic, fresh, and warm at the same time, as well as being wonderfully aromatic. Combined with cinnamon (my absolute favorite baking spice!), cloves, and molasses, these chewy ginger cookies dipped in crystal-like sugar are delicious and oh so pretty!

The recipe is one I adapted from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, and makes a lot of dough—I was able to save some in the freezer for later, and still made about 30 cookies.

Chewy Ginger Cookies

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup margarine / butter / shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup sugar

In a medium bowl combine flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat margarine with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Add the 2 cups of sugar and beat until combined.  Beat in eggs and molasses until combined.

Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer.  Stir in any remaining flour mixture.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the remaining sugar.  Place 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are puffed (do not overbake! see the account of my mishap, and how I fixed it below).  Cool on cookie sheet for a minute then transfer to a wire rack and let cool fully.

CAUTION: I must warn you to follow the cooking instructions exactly, lest you end up with rock-like ginger cookies. Here’s what happened: my oven doesn’t seem to get as hot as it should (usually I have to turn it up about 10 degrees more than the required temperature), and I forgot to turn it up, so I figured I would leave the cookies in a bit longer. They didn’t really look done after 9 minutes. They hadn’t flattened much and hadn’t cracked like in the picture, and I thought they needed a few more minutes (I clearly didn’t read the instructions far enough to see the part about lightly browned bottoms and puffed tops). And then life happened…Stella had an accident on our bed, soaking through all the layers of our bedding!

Luckily the mattress was spared, but everything, including my feather duvet needed to be washed. As you can probably guess, I kind of forgot to keep track of the baking time on my cookies. Surprisingly, after being in the oven for double the required time, they still looked great, and tasted amazing! …Until the next day when they were hard as rocks! I almost chipped a tooth. I was soooo disappointed, and called my mom (as I do almost every time I cook something!) to explain the disaster. Her advice: use the cookies like biscotti and dip them in coffee, tea, or milk—this would still be delicious but I really wanted chewy cookies! Or (and here’s where my mom is a genius), slice up an apple and put the pieces into a sealed container with the cookies.

Let me tell you, mother knows best! The moisture from the apples has been absorbed by the cookies, softening them and making them—wait for it—CHEWY! This old trick saved the day…and now the dehydrated apple slices make a really tasty snack.

PS.  That glass dome you see in the first photo? It was the better part of a cheese plate combo that I scored from the Salvation Army for $1.99! 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Auntie Jeannine permalink
    March 27, 2011 12:28 pm

    I love you mom comments, you do have one of the best moms in the world.

  2. Irene Lear permalink
    March 23, 2011 7:42 pm

    Yeah for MOMs!!

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