Every year, a week or so before Christmas, my boss brings in containers upon containers of Christmas cookies. Butter cookies, chocolate chip, sugar ... you name it, she bakes it. My favorite of her cookies, though, are gingerbread men. So much so, that last year I decided to try my hand at them.
And here's what I discovered: Gingerbread men are a hard cookie to bake. (Maybe not as hard a butter horns, but that's a separate story.)
Getting the right texture and flavor is no small task. And the dough isn't the easiest to work with, either. It was a bit disappointing that I wasn't able to master this cookie. And unfortunately I was short on time and ingredients to keep trying until I got it right. I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to do without that delectable ginger cookies unless someone else made them for me.
And then I found the recipe below. I had completely forgotten I cut it out of a magazine at the end of the holiday season last year. I tucked it away in a recipe box filled with holiday recipes, and found it when trying to decide which cookies to bake this year. It seemed simple enough, so I decided to give it a whirl.
And I found my ginger cookie!
First off, they're easy to make. And if you have small children this is a cookie they can easily help with. (We love quality time in the kitchen in our house.) The flavor is outstanding. Ginger and spice, but without being overwhelming. And finally, the texture. Crunchy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. Just a perfect holiday cookie.
Sure, they're not in the shape of men, but it's a small sacrifice to enjoy a wonderful ginger cookie that will warm you up not just during the holidays, but all winter long.
Recipe from a magazine
Makes 6 dozen
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, molasses, and ginger. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be soft). Refrigerate until firm enough to handle, about 1 hour.
- Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll half the dough into 1-inch balls (about 1 rounded teaspoon each) and then roll in the sugar to coat. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.
- Bake, rotating the position of the pans halfway through, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and set, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Let cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.