I have made this recipe for Gingerbread cookies countless times; large rounds of gingerbread goodness that snack like a meal. I have also used this recipe for rolled and cut shaped versions. This time, I decided to try a smaller, two bite size, that makes you think you are being virtuous by stopping at 3. I added 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger and an extra tablespoon of flour to compensate for any extra liquid. The pepper adds a nice note, but may be a bit spicy for some. I sometimes add a good-sized pinch of garam masala. Judge your eaters accordingly. The result is an occasion friendly sized cookie that packs a sizable wallop of ginger.
2 1/2 cups (350 g) (11 oz) all-purpose flour*
2 1/4 tsp (11.25 ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) ground ginger
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground allspice
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (0.625 ml) ground pepper (optional)
Pinch of Garam Masala (optional)
1 tsp (5 ml) fresh grated ginger, liquid squeezed out*
3/4 cup (170 g) (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (109 g) (3.8 oz) packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) (3.5 oz) granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup (67 g) for coating
6 tbsp (90 ml) molasses
1 large egg
* add 1 Tbsp flour if using fresh grated ginger
sparkling sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° C / 180° F, with racks in lower and upper thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice and pepper, if using.
- With an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup (100 g) of granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and fresh grated ginger. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Flatten into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Using a knife, divide the dough into 48 even sized squares. Roll into a ball, coat in 1/3 cup (67 g) sugar and place on parchment paper, about 2 inches (5 cm) , 12 to a sheet. Flour an object with a flat, smooth bottom and press the balls into a uniform height. Add extra sugar on top. If you have sparkling sugar on hand, sprinkle on top.
- Bake for 5 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes. (about 10 minutes in total). If your oven can handle baking two cookie sheets, go for it. Mine does a much better job of one in the middle, rotated at halftime.
If you are using a measuring cup, spray the inside with non-stick spray. Now measure out molasses. When it is time to add to your recipe, the molasses will pour out of the cup without leaving much behind. It makes for easier cleanup too.
Garam Masala is an aromatic mixture of spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, which are supposed to ‘heat’ the body. For years, I have used a version by Madhur Jaffrey as follows: Put 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds, a 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon whole black cumin seeds (use regular whole cumin as a substitute), 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, and about 1/3 of an average sized nutmeg into the container of an electric coffee grinder. Grind until spices are powdery. Yield is 3 tablespoons. Store in an airtight jar.
Garam Masala Source: World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, by Madhur Jaffrey