This weekend I finally got around to scratching my holiday baking itch. My kitchen isn't exactly baking-friendly so that I had an itch at all was remarkable. The oven is not quite full-size, has only ever had one rack, and is prone to shut off randomly and without warning. The total counter space is the equivalent of one cookie sheet. [This is a pretty typical New York apartment kitchen set-up and those of us motivated enough usually find a way to coax deliciousness out of these tiny spaces.] I knew I'd probably only have the time and patience for one cookie recipe, so I decided to choose a cookie I love. "Crunchy," "sweet," and "spicy," are three of my favorite food attributes so of course I love gingersnaps and those are what I made. The original recipe is Nick Malgieri's Three-Way Gingersnaps. I couldn't find my stash of crystallized ginger (the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons finely chopped), so I decided to skip it and make mine Two-Way Gingersnaps. If anything, the crystallized ginger might add some more sweetness—these are still gingery enough to please any ginger lover. I also used salted butter because doesn't everything taste better with a little more salt? Feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer. I brought some into the office today and they are almost all gone, so I think it's safe to say that these are also Serious Eats approved.
- makes about 60 cookies -
Adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons honey
Raw sugar for coating the cookies
2 or 3 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans lined with parchment or foil
1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325ºF. If you only have one oven rack like me, set it in the middle of your oven.
2. Mix the flour with the ground ginger, baking soda, and salt.
3. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until lightened, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and continue beating until smooth.
4. Decrease the mixer speed to low and beat in half the flour mixture. Stop and scrape down the bowl and paddle.
5. Beat in the grated ginger and the honey. After they are incorporated, beat in the remaining flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give a final mixing to the dough.
6. Roll 1/2 tablespoon of the dough between the palms of your hands to make a little sphere, then roll it in a shallow bowl of raw sugar. Place it on one of the prepared pans. Continue with the remaining dough, keeping the subsequent cookies about 2 inches apart on all sides.
7. Bake the gingersnaps until they spread and become deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, place the pan from the lower rack on the upper one and vice versa, turning the pans from back to front at the same time. If you know that your oven gives off strong bottom heat, stack the pan on the lower rack on top of a second one for insulation. If you're working with only one rack, just turn your pan from back to front after the first 10 minutes.
8. Slide the papers off the pans to cool the cookies. If you have only one more pan of gingersnaps to bake, readjust one of the racks to the middle level for baking.