The most gingery, ginger cookie ever. There are three kinds of ginger in this cookie, they are spicy, crunchy and chewy. A must for any holiday table.
The holiday cookie baking party was a huge success and my freezer is packed full. I think the hardest part is deciding what to make. I'm a one-and-done cook. I rarely make the same thing twice. There are just so many things to make... so little time. I have a really hard time bringing myself back to something I've made before - even if I know it is really, really good.
Half the fun for me is trying to see if the recipe will work out or not. I had a few flops this year #pinterestfail. More semi-fails, I suppose - the results delicious but not easy and not pretty.
I'm lucky that I have enough confidence in the kitchen to know how to fix something if it is not working the way I want it to. But I realize not everyone feels that way. I'm pretty lackadaisical about following recipes. I know that I can, and often adjust recipes on the fly. Rarely do I think twice about it. I've always treated recipes as guidelines - not rules. But this weekend I realized how annoying it is when a recipe clearly is just not right. When a recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips and I ended up using over 4 cups. Or when a recipe calls for store-bought caramel sauce, when it was very clear that that was just too runny.
So after a few #mishaps, I pulled out a recipe that I knew would work. These Ginger Molasses Cookies are, hands down, the best ginger cookies I have ever had. Maybe even the best cookies period.
These Ginger cookies are crispy and a little bit chewy in the middle. Packed with three kinds of ginger - ground ginger, fresh ginger and candied ginger - these babies have a bit of a kick to them. And the candied ginger adds such a nice texture. The recipe comes from Alice Medrich from her book Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy. A book that has not let me down yet.
The nice thing about this recipe is pretty simple. The boys helped me make it. It can be mixed by hand. No chill time. And other than the candied ginger - which may not be a usual thing you keep in your pantry - you probably have what you need on hand to make them.
Recipe notes and tips
Roll the cookies in organic natural cane sugar or coconut sugar. I love the golden flaky-ness of the cane sugar. The baked cookies almost shimmer and it leaves a nice crunch too. You can use plain white sugar here or a loose grain brown sugar like Muscovado or Demerara. But not icing (or confectioner's sugar) and not typical brown sugar. I get both cane sugar and coconut sugar from the Bulk Barn. You can also get it here.
The fresh ginger gives these cookies a real bite of heat. For a milder cookie skip this part.
Grating the ginger. This recipe calls for a lot of freshly grated ginger. You will need a 2-3 inch piece of ginger root. Gently remove the peel by scraping the sides of the ginger root with the edge of a spoon or a small paring knife. I find the small side of a box grater (like you would use for carrots or parmesan) the best for this job. A Microplane grater does not work as well.
Small cookies To keep the cookies a uniform size, use a cookie scoop - this 1 tablespoon size is my usual choice for Christmas cookies when I want cookies to be no more than 2 bites each.
For bigger cookies - I like to think of them as bakery size, whole hand-sized cookies, I use a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop. Cooking time increases only slightly if starting with room temperature cookie dough as stated in the recipe below. So instead of baking 10-12 minutes, try 12-14 minutes. Cookies will spread as they bake, so no more than 8 cookies per baking sheet at this size!
Yes - three kinds of ginger
Yes, this recipe calls for 3 kinds of ginger. And this is really the key to what I like to think of as the most ultimate ginger molasses cookie. For this recipe you will need powdered ground ginger, fresh ginger root and candied ginger.
- Powder ground ginger - this gives a warm and spicy note to the cookies. Traditional winter spices. Essentially for that traditional gingerbread-like flavour.
- Candied ginger. You will find this in the baking isle or in the section of the store sells packages of nuts for snacking and dates and such. Candied ginger gives these cookies that chewy texture that I love so much.
- Fresh ginger - OMG, fresh ginger adds heat! Fresh ginger is maybe my favourite part of these cookies. Definitely, fresh ginger is the secret ingredient that makes you go "WOW" with the first bite of cookie.
Fresh ginger does add a substantial amount of heat, if you are sensitive or cautious, skip it or reduce the amount.
I also find the small size of a box grater makes the best tool for this job. Two full tablespoons is more than you think.
Storage and Serving Ginger Cookies
These ginger cookies will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer-term storage, but give them enough time to come to room temperature before serving. These cookies tend to get a bit hard when chilled.
This ginger cookie recipe freezes beautifully and will keep for several months. Just keep them in a well-sealed container - as noted below the ginger flavour and scents are very powerful.
For storage, these cookies are the best storage by themselves. If you are going a bunch of holiday baking, keep the ginger cookies in separate sealed containers until just before serving. These ginger cookies will make anything in the same container with them taste of ginger and smell of too.
If you are making a Christmas cookie tray or gift boxes a few things you can do. Arrange all the cookies on the tray except for the ginger cookies and add them just at the last minute.
Or if making gift boxes, pack everything else in a tin or box and add a smaller separate box for the ginger cookies. I know it sounds like overkill, but trust me, whoever is eating your cookies will appreciate that chocolate cookies don't taste like ginger. And those ginger cookies will be all the more stunning.
For dessert trays and cookie platters, I like to make the smaller sized cookie. For gifts, I think there is nothing better than a half dozen ginormous cookies.
The Best Ginger Cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour (240g)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon all-spice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted (4oz)
- 1/4 cup molasses black strap molasses will give a deeper, richer flavour, slightly less sweet. Fancy molasses works just as well
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar light or dark, does not matter
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup diced candied ginger about 4 oz (small diced, 1/4 in diced)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar or white granulated sugar, coconut sugar or Demerara sugar for rolling the cookies before baking
- Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine (flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and sea salt), set aside.
- In a large bowl stir together melted butter, molasses, sugars, fresh ginger and egg. Whisk together until creamy and smooth. Stir in dry ingredients and candied ginger. Mix until just combined and no dry spots.
- Form dough into 1 inch balls (i use a cookie scoop to measure uniform sized balls and roll until smooth and round with my palms of my hands). Roll each ball in coconut sugar (or granulated sugar) then place on the cookie sheets - about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies will puff up and then crack.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute before moving them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storing. Cookies freeze well.