It's Week 10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and today also kicks off my quest for The Best Ginger Cookie by Christmas.
To me, the epitome of a ginger cookie is thick, soft, and chewy and bursting with full-on spiciness in every bite. So, when I saw that Alton Brown's Gingersnap recipe calls for triple ginger goodness - fresh, candied, and powdered, I knew that I absolutely had to include his recipe as one of my twelve. Besides, the man totally rocks and his recipes are always a success.
The one thing that makes his recipe different from all others I've seen is that it doesn't use any cinnamon at all. It does, however, have a little cardamom.
The cookies, once baked, were totally flat. I even chilled the dough and tried again, but they still turned into cookie pancakes. I wondered if my oven was to blame, but then I saw a picture of Alton Brown holding these cookies and his were flat too. So, I guess that's just the way these are meant to be (granted, they are supposed to be "snaps" after all). Despite the lack of thickness, these cookies were still nice and chewy with crisp edges and they stayed chewy for days after too.
They had a good gingery flavor that wasn't too strong. I kind of like my cookies with a little more kick to them but still found these to be quite tasty. My biggest recommendation regarding these cookies would be to let them sit for at least a day before you eat them, because the flavors do deepen with time.
Will these be the "best" cookie? It's too soon to tell. But, the quest is off to a yummy start. One down and eleven more to go!
Alton Brown's Gingersnaps (Food Network)
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. molasses
2 tsp. grated ginger
1/2 c. candied ginger
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, clove and salt.
Place the brown sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg and fresh ginger and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add the crystallized ginger and using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.
With a 2-teaspoon sized scoop, drop the dough onto a parchment lined half sheet pan approximately 2-inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more crisp cookies. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Store in an airtight container for up 10 days. If desired, you may scoop and freeze the cookie dough on a sheet pan and once frozen, place in a resealable bag to store. Bake directly from the freezer as above.