Cookie Week: Chewy Ginger Cookies

My family makes gingerbread men for Christmas every year, and I take great pleasure in rolling them out to just the right thickness and baking them the exact length of time that results in impossibly soft, tender, delicious cookies. The buttery icing doesn’t hurt, either. So for my Cookie Week baking, I said I’d make any cookie as long as it was ginger-based. My cookie of choice? The Chewy Ginger Cookies in the new book Tea and Cookies by Rick Rodgers. Rick, in turn, got the recipe from his friend Arlene Stein of the legendary Sarabeth’s Bakery.

I’d never made cookies with fresh ginger before and was darned excited to dive in late last night. But I failed to do the first thing you learn in freshman home ec—read the recipe all the way through before starting! So I grated my ginger, mixed up the dough, and then realized that the dough had to be refrigerated “at least 3 hours or overnight.” Which meant an early morning bake for me. No problem! I set my alarm for 6 am, woke up on time, put fuzzy, cozy socks on my feet so that I’d be comfortable on the cold kitchen floor … and then proceeded to wipe out on the staircase. I butt-skied all the way down, thwacking my arm on the way, and landed in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the stairs. I started whimpering a bit until I remembered that there’s no crying in baking, or baseball, or whatever Tom Hanks said.

Anyway—the cookie-baking was finished without further incident. One thing I like about this recipe is that you shape the dough into balls and roll them in turbinado sugar, which results in perfectly round little cookies with crunchy bits of sugar on top. Delicious! And perfect for early Christmas at the in-laws’ house tomorrow.

Chewy Ginger Cookies
Makes About 3 Dozen Cookies

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger (use the medium-size holes on a box grater)
  • ¼ cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup turbinado, raw, or additional granulated sugar for coating the cookies

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Beat the granulated sugar and butter together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, just until the mixture is light in color, about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat. Beat in the ginger, then the molasses and egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually stir in the flour mixture to make a soft dough.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the dough is chilled and firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.

3. Position racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Using a scant tablespoon for each cookie, roll the dough into balls. Roll each in the turbinado sugar to coat. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

5. Bake, switching the position of the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are set and dry, but the interiors seem slightly underdone, about 12 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire cake racks and let cool completely. (The cookies can be made up to 1 week ahead, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)

16 Responses to “Cookie Week: Chewy Ginger Cookies”
  1. Marcelo says:

    Dear Monica -I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Can’t beelive it’s over. We even had snow today in DC! Our first snowfall. So beautiful as family was leaving.Warm wishes,Loi

    • Elizeu says:

      i have a recipe like this. it’s one box of cake mix, one tub of cool whip {i use the light} and one egg. mix it togeehtr and drop onto the pan like you did. you can roll them in powdered sugar or sprinkle them then bake at 350 for about ten minutes until the tops crack . sooooooo yummy and {kind of} good for you. 🙂

  2. Rajesh says:

    HONEY CINNAMON CHRISTMAS TREESHoney and cinnamon bcuisit dough200g butter, at room temperature1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar mixture1/3 cup (80ml) honey2 cups (300g) plain flour, sifted1/4 cup (40g) self-raising flour, sifted1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon2 tablespoons milkGlace icing2 eggwhites, lightly whisked3 1/4 cups (500g) pure icing sugar1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1/2 cup desiccated coconutMethodLine 2 baking trays with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and icing sugar mixture in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add honey. Beat until well combined.Place flours, cinnamon and milk in a bowl. Add butter mixture. Mix until dough begins to form. Turn onto a well floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.Preheat oven to 160b0C. Using a well floured rolling pin, roll one portion of dough out on a well floured surface until 5mm-thick.Using an 8.5cm Christmas tree cutter, cut out bcuisits. Place on prepared trays. Bake,swapping trays halfway during cooking, for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.Make glace icing: Using a wooden spoon, lightly beat eggwhites. Sift icing sugar over eggwhite. Stir until smooth. Add lemon juice and stir until well combined.Spread bcuisits with icing, leaving a 2mm border. Sprinkle with coconut. Set aside for 1 hour to set. Serve or gift wrap.CHRISTMAS BELLSIngredients1 quantity honey and cinnamon bcuisit dough (see related recipe)1/3 quantity glace icing (see related recipe)silver cachous, to decorateMethodUsing a 6.5cm bell cutter, cut out bcuisits. Place on prepared trays. Bake, swapping trays halfway during cooking, for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.Place icing in a piping bag fitted with a 2mm nozzle. Pipe small linked dots around edge of bcuisits. Decorate joins between dots with cachous. Set aside for 1 hour to set. Serve or gift wrap.CANDY CANE BISCUITESIngredients2 cups plain flour1/2 cup icing sugar mixture200g butter, chopped1 teaspoon vanilla essence1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar1 eggwhite, lightly whiskedred food colouringcellophane and ribbon, to decorateMethodLine 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Place flour and icing sugar mixture in a food processor. Add butter. Process in short bursts until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.Add vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons of cold water. Process, in short bursts, until mixture just comes together. Turn dough onto a piece of baking paper. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion out between 2 pieces of baking paper until 7mm thick.Using a 7cm to 8cm long candy cane-shaped cutter, cut out shapes (see note). Place shapes on prepared trays. Roll together remaining dough and repeat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 180b0C.Bake bcuisits for 10 minutes, swapping trays over halfway through cooking. Allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.Sift pure icing sugar into a bowl. Add eggwhite. Stir until smooth. Add 2 to 3 drops of red food colouring. Stir until icing is pink. Spoon icing into a snap-lock bag. Snip off one corner. Pipe icing over cookies. Set aside for 20 minutes to set. Place cookies in cellophane bags. Secure with ribbon.CHOCOLATE PANFORTEIngredientsMelted butter, to greaseEdible rice-paper sheets, to line175g (1 cup) mixed glace fruit, finely chopped85g (1/2 cup) blanched almonds80g (1/2 cup) pine nuts75g (1/2 cup) plain flour1 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 tsp ground cloves1/2 tsp ground cardamom1/2 tsp ground nutmeg110g (1/2 cup) white sugar125ml (1/2 cup) honey125g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely choppedIcing sugar, to dustMethodPreheat oven to 180b0C. Brush a 20cm (base measurement) springform pan with butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with edible rice paper.Combine the mixed glace fruit, almonds, pine nuts, flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg in a large bowl.Combine the sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. Add to the fruit mixture and, working quickly, stir with a wooden spoon until combined.Spoon the mixture into the lined pan and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until just firm. Set aside in the pan for 5 minutes to cool slightly before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.Dust the panforte with icing sugar. Cut into wedges to serve.LEMON PASSIONFRUIT SHORTBREAD STARSIngredients225g

  3. Cassie says:

    Kristy–I wish I could take credit for the photo–it’s the work of the talented Ben Fink, who shot the whole book. My cookies actually turned out a bit darker and less flat than those in the picture. Still tasty, though.

  4. Ree says:

    This is hilarious (sorry, Cassie) and the really bizarre thing is that I happened to read it while watching “A League of Their Own.”


  5. “No crying in baking.” Love it. Glad you’re ok.

    We have this book and are making cookies today for our neighbors. I’m adding this one to the list. Thanks!

    • Udaykiran says:

      chocolate marbled merguines2 oz. unsweetened chocolate2 large egg whites- at room temp.1/8 tsp. cream of tartarbd cup superfine sugarbd tsp. vanilla extract1 bd tsp. cornstarch1 bag mint chocolate chips1.Preheat oven to 200b0. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 25 seconds; stir, and then microwave for another 20 seconds.2.In a glass bowl beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, Continue to beat on medium high speed until the mixture forms peaks. Slowly add the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, waiting at least 10 seconds between additions, gradually increasing the speed to high. Add the vanilla and beat for another 3 minutes, or until stiff. Sift the cornstarch over the mixture, and gently fold in using a spatula.3.Transfer the meringue to a bowl. Using a spatula, heavily drizzle parallel lines of the melted chocolate over the surface of the meringue. Using a 1 inch ice cream scoop scrape across the surface of the mixture, crosswise to the drizzled lines, to get a rounded mound of striped meringue.4.Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave them in until the oven is completely cooled.

    • Bella says:

      Samantha: You can add as much milk as you need to get the consistency you want. The 1:1:1 is just a srtating off point for the recipe. I have added a 1/4 cup of milk to get a really runny icing… just experiment! :)Dawn: The icing dries a hard but not for 3 days. At about the 2 day mark you should still be able to leave in imprint of your thumb by putting your thumb on the icing. But be warned the 2/3 day mark is when they taste THE BEST! :)Chrisgelica: The lemon is not for flavor necessarily, but to add some acidity to the sugar. This does NOT make the recipe taste lemon, but it DOES bring out the flavor in the sugar instead of just giving you a huge blast of sweet. It is totally not necessary… just a personal preference!Thanks for all the wonderfully kind words and thoughts guys… you are the sweetest!! (and you know that pun was intended)Blessings!Amanda

    • This has made my day. I wish all postings were this good.

    • click here says:

      That takes us up to the next level. Great posting.

    • David says:

      Okay, I’m about a year late to the party but I must say I just love you!! Amanda you are a gem and I’m glad to see someone else who meseuras like it do (not that it EVER gets me in trouble!). I’m interested in trying your tasty recipe! -K

    • Krisalyn says:

      A lot of us treat insurance like the weather; Quotes Chimp gripe and complain but don’t do anything about it. Luckily, insurance is not like the weather. We can do something about prices that are too high and insurance departments that are biased in favor of the com�panies. But to do so we must get involved and we must have an agenda. And that is what the Consumers’ Agendas are about.

  6. Dee Dee says:

    Yum! Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Sorry you fell on your bum so early in the morning. That’s the worst. Miss you! Happy Holidays.

    • Mim says:

      NOTHING… ha ha… He may not have titled it that way–but wheatver he said went in one ear and out the other…. (Think I may not have been listening????? Ha) BUT–on the other hand, I’ve heard many a preacher who can REALLY preach the good news!!!!! His sermons stick with me. Praise God for that!!!Have a wonderful Sunday.Hugs,Betsy

  7. Kristy says:

    These sound wonderful! I am will be adding these to my cookie baking over the weekend. Also, love your photography of the cookies and tea – amazing!

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