Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crystallized ginger spice cookies

I made these cookies last Christmas as my cut-out cookie and they were a big hit. So, I decided to add them to my Christmas cookies again this year. I love ginger and so does my husband. I just discovered crystallized ginger last year. You should be able to find it at larger grocery stores, especially around the holidays. These cookies are a bit spicy and get even spicier after they sit for a day or two. This recipe will make between 3 to 4 dozen cookies depending on the size of your cookies/cookie cutters. I used a slight variation of this recipe.

Crystallized ginger spice cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated citrus zest (clementine, orange, lemon, or a combination)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark molasses
1 large egg


For the icing: I use a mixture of icing sugar and the juice of the citrus fruit I zested above. I just mix them until they become the proper consistency. The icing is optional, of course, but I think this sweet icing and some decorating sugar are a nice compliment to the spicy cookie.


In a large bowl, whisk together first 9 ingredients and set aside.
 

Place crystallized ginger in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse to coarsely chop. Add brown sugar and citrus zest, and process until ginger is finely chopped and incorporated into the sugar. Combine butter and sugar-ginger mixture in a large bowl; cream together with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients, and mix to combine. Divide dough into 2 equal portions and place on large sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten into disks about one inch thick and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness (keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use). Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Re-roll and cut as necessary. Place one inch apart on baking sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Once the cookies are completely cooled, decorate with icing and sugar/sprinkles. Let dry completely and store in an air tight container.

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