So all kinds of gingerbread cookies, houses etc have been popping up all over the blogosphere to welcome Christmas. I've been curious about the taste for years, but since I'd never tried any sort of ginger-y baked good before, I was always apprehensive about making them, I don't really have an experimental palate, I'm actually pretty picky when it comes to food. But seeing them almost everywhere, I decided to have a go at them, fully expecting to hate them, which is why I only made a half batch, something that I totally regret now!
These cookies surprised me, they were soo good! Crunchy to the extent of being almost crispy, while still kind of soft in the center. I expected to be put off by all the spices, but they were truly wonderful, a very different cookie, but one that's going into my 'regular' file for sure! I expect these would be perfect with some ice cream or dunked into some coffee, I wanted to try them like that but each time I would bake up a sheet of them, they'd be gone before I could even find the time to do that. I only just managed to click pictures. I'm going to bake up a full batch of these, like way soon!! The best part, these don't need to be rolled, shaped or cut-out, something that I really don't enjoy doing. Just slice, bake, and devour! These ugly misshapen things turn into perfectly formed, beautiful cookies!
Adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters via David Lebovitz
2 cups [240 g] flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
11 tbsp [150 g] butter
2/3 cup [130 g] sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup [80 g] molasses
1 large egg, at room temperature - my batter almost seized because I didn't bother with this step, don't do that!
Coarse sugar for coating the cookies
- Sift together all the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, vanilla and molasses and beat till well incorporated.
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Divide the dough into two more manageable protions, and wrap them in plastic wrap making a cylinder about 2 inches wide. I found the dough to be a little soft to handle well, so I just roughly shaped it, refrigerated for about half an hour, and then rolled on the counter to shape into a neat cylinder. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
- To bake, preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Slice the dough into roughly 1/4 inch thick rounds. Dip the tops into coarse sugar, and place on the baking sheet, leaving roughly 2 inches between cookies, because they will spread quite a bit.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes, rotating midway, till the edges are almost hard to the touch, while the centers will still feel quite soft. If you want the crispy, crunchy cookies, 14 minutes would be perfect, while 10 would be good for softer cookies.
- Cool on a wire rack, and store in an air-tight container, if there are any left!
- Serve with ice-cream, a pudding, or best yet, plain :D