Monday, April 20, 2009

Ginger Snaps

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I can't. Alton Brown is the genius who figured this one out. The cardamom, clove, and ginger give the cookies an Indian spiciness that fills the whole house as they cook. There are 3 different kinds of ginger in these cookies: fresh, ground, and candied. Each adds a distinctive flavor - spicy, savory, and sweet. I would highly recommend using homemade candied ginger as it has a depth of flavor not found in store-bought (even if it is a little labor-intensive to make).

  • 9 1/2 ounces (by weight) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces (by weight) dark brown sugar
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces (by weight) molasses
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 ounces (by weight) finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cardamom, clove, and salt.

Beat the brown sugar and butter in a mixer on low speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg, and fresh ginger and increase speed to medium, mix for 1 more minute. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl. Add the candiedginger and stir to combine using a rubber spatula. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and thoroughly mix with the rubber spatula, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a small (2 teaspoon) scoop, drop the cookies 2 inches apart and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes (for chewier cookies), up to 15 minutes (for crispy cookies). Rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through cooking.

When the time is up, remove the pan from the oven. Let the cookies cool for 30 seconds on the pan before sliding the parchment (with the cookies) off the pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough, refrigerating between batches (you may have to slightly increase cooking time with the cold batter). Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days - not that they'll actually last that long!

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