Friday, December 23, 2011
Two Last Cookies and the Winner
The end of the quest at last!!! But, before I announce the winner, here are the final recipes.
The last two cookies out of the dozen recipes I tried were Martha Stewart's Ginger Cookies and the Chewy Gingerbread Cookies from the blog, "Fork Fingers Chopsticks."
The cookies from Fork Fingers Chopsticks had the best texture out of any cookie I tried. They were so rounded and thick and crackled on top to boot. However, the taste was a little milder than I would have liked.
Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (Fork Fingers Chopsticks)
2 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 1/4 c. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. ginger powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 c. large grain sugar (for rolling)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Adjust racks – one in top 1/3 oven – second in bottom 1/3 oven.
Peel and grate fresh ginger; set aside. Finely chop crystallized ginger; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, flour, baking soda and salt. Add crystallized ginger, separate if it clumps and stir to incorporate. Set aside.
In a medium-size skillet or small pot, over low heat, add butter – when it has melted almost half way. Turn off the heat and add the fresh ginger, brown sugar, molasses. Mixture should be warm to touch not hot. Add beaten egg and stir to incorporate. Pour over flour mixture. Stir until combined – do not overwork the dough.
Shape dough into balls (1/2 tablespoon dough for small cookies – 1 1/2 inch; 1 heaping tablespoon dough for 3 inch). Balls should be placed at least 2 inches apart for smaller cookies/ 3 inches for larger.
*Optional: For a prettier cookie, coat each ball with large granule sugar/sea salt before baking.
Bake for 8 to 9 minutes for small cookies; 10 – 12 for larger. Cookies are done when they have risen and cookies crack. Do not overbake – underbaking is better. Store in airtight container for about 1 week.
On the other hand, the Martha Stewart Ginger Cookies had great flavor to them. But, they came out flatter, though still wonderfully chewy. Flavorwise, my family also preferred Martha Stewart's to the ones from Fork Fingers Chopsticks.
Martha Stewart's Ginger Cookies (from Martha Stewart)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
6 tablespoons molasses
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice, and pepper.
With an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.
Divide dough into twelve 2-inch balls. Place remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a bowl. Roll balls in sugar to coat; place at least 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten into 3-inch rounds. Sprinkle with sugar remaining in bowl.
Bake until brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
And now . . . the winner and some honorable mentions.
1. Crackly Topped Spice Cookies
These were hands-down the winners in terms of taste. Perfectly spicy without any one spice overpowering the others. One bite will leave you wanting for more.
2. David Lebovitz's Nonfat Gingersnaps
The texture was a little too soft, but my family and I still gave them a thumbs up in terms of taste. Besides, they're fat free. You can't beat that. I'd indulge in these anytime.
3. Martha Stewart's Ginger Cookies
While we wish these would have been thicker, we still couldn't deny that Martha Stewart knows her stuff when it comes to ginger cookies. The flavor was spot-on good.
Well, it's been quite the quest. I don't know if I can look at another ginger cookie, at least anytime soon, but I've still enjoyed myself. More importantly, I've finally found ginger cookie recipes that will be keepers in my book. Thanks so much for following me along on my journey and I hope you'll be able to try some of the winning cookies. Merry Christmas!