It’s cookie baking season. I bake cookies in the off season too but for Christmas I like to push my baking limits. Step it up.
To be clear- I never step so high that I bake cookies that need to be rolled and cut. The most effort I will put into Christmas baking is a slice and bake cookie, and only if Ken is available to do the rolling and slicing. I am a drop cookie kind of girl. Or bars.
What I am saying is that I make fancy simple cookies to celebrate the season. That’s still celebratory, right? I have a few favorite recipes but one super duper favorite. It gets requests. With cookie exchanges and family parties, I probably bake 14 dozen. I probably eat 10 dozen myself.
What? Who said that?
I’m going to share my super duper favorite cookies with you. My Christmas gift to you.
Double Ginger Crackles, adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine. Really and truly I only just realized they were called crackles, I always called them cookies. It’s not easy keeping up with cookie terminology. Phew.
2010 has brought me a gluten sensitivity so this year I made my cookies with Jeanne’s gluten free all purpose flour mix. They were fantastic! This mix has xanthum gum mixed in. If you are using another GF mix add in the appropriate amount of guar or xanthum gum.
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour (10 oz. or 285g)
- 2 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/4 cup molasses. I used fancy.
- 1/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger. I love ginger and load it in, if you wanted a milder cookie add less ginger.
Heat oven to 350. Get your cookie sheets greased or cover with parchment.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt.
In large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat butter and 1 cup of sugar. Beat until creamy. Add egg, molasses and crystallized ginger. Beat well. Combine the dry ingredients on low speed. Mix until just combined.
Now it gets really fun and recruit helpers, if you have them. Though perhaps not if the cookies are destined to anyone not related to the helpers. Strangers at a cookie exchange party might not be pleased if each and every cookie was licked by your kids. I’m kidding that’s never really happened. More like every second cookie.
Pour the remaining sugar into a shallow dish, I use a plate. Scoop cookie dough into 1 tablespoon size balls. Roll them in the sugar, place them on the cookie sheet. Repeat until they are all rolled in sugar.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the racks halfway through. The trick is to cook until the outside is dry and crispy but the inside is still chewy. The dough inside the cracks should look wet. You might think it’s undercooked, it’s not.
Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack. They keep for a few days. They are the kind of cookies that are best the next day, though nothing to shake a stick out right out of the oven.
And that’s it. Eat them, share them, eat them.
Do you have a favorite holiday cookie? If you have a link, please share it.