The weather in Philadelphia has been pretty terrible for the past week. Minimal sunshine, rain, humidity, and other nastiness. Very inopportune for photographing my recent adventures in the kitchen. Bummer! Luckily, I did manage to get a few photos of these Ultimate Ginger Cookies when I made them the other week while the sun was still gracing us with its presence.

As soon as September draws near I get in the mood for fall baking. It doesn’t matter that it has been a balmy 90 degrees for much of the month, I want all things pumpkin, cinnamon, apple, nutmeg, and so on. Paul (the BF) actually asked me, yesterday, “What’s with you and pumpkin?” Well, you other autumn enthusiasts get it, don’t you?! I feel all warm and fuzzy the first time I see a display of pumpkins and mums at a store in September. I am IN LOVE, madly deeply in love, with the pumpkin spice latte. It’s like a hug in a cup. Anyway, these cookies are definitely a fall and/or winter treat. I actually bought the crystallized ginger for the past two summers in preparation for the first cool day when I could justify baking them. By the way, I get my crystallized ginger from Penzey’s Spices, also my favorite place to buy spices from. The feeling I get while leafing through their catalog is equivalent to that of a child looking through a toy catalog. If you cook and bake a lot I definitely suggest checking them out, you will notice a difference in the quality and potency of their products. I can’t go back to regular old grocery store spices. I am a spice snob, I know. Anyway, if you don’t have crystallized ginger, these cookies will still be delish without it.

I saw Ina Garten make these on her show a few years ago and knew instantly I wanted to make them, but it was summer and I wanted to wait for fall. Then I saw them on Brown Eyed Baker, I food blog that I love. I felt it was fate. I patiently… er… impatiently awaited the right time to bake them. This was my second year making them and they were as good as I remembered. I think I will add them to my Christmas cookie baking list this year as well. They are soft and chewy, sweet and spicy, a perfect recipe (as is expected from The Barefoot Contessa).

Ultimate Ginger Cookies Recipe by Ina Garten

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
  • Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. (I do not have a stand mixer, so I just used a regular hand mixer and it worked fine!) Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough, I used an ice cream scooper. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Bite into a cookie and savor the warm fuzzy feelings.

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