Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gingersnaps!



Gingersnaps rank among my favorite all-time cookies, even though I generally only make them around the holidays. But this year I got a jump on things and made a batch before Thanksgiving, so I wouldn’t have to share them with anyone (sorry, I know that 



sounds stingy).  I like my gingersnaps to be more on the ‘soft’ as opposed to ‘snappy’ (i.e., crisp) side, and so I bake them just until they are browned around the edges. If you prefer a crisper gingersnap, bake them a few minutes more, until they are evenly 



browned all over. For the sugar topping, you can use a coarse raw sugar (Turbinado or Demerara), but I prefer to use organic evaporated cane sugar, which is available in most grocery stores now, because it has a finer texture that melts as you eat it. Crumbled up, these homemade gingersnaps also make a wonderful crust for pumpkin cheesecake. 



Gingersnaps

Makes 30 cookies

2 2/3 cups (341 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (113 g/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup (50 g) vegetable shortening
1 1/3 cups (466 g) granulated sugar (preferably organic evaporated cane sugar)
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional, but very good!)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup (80 g) unsulphured molasses
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Granulated sugar (preferably organic evaporated cane sugar) for dipping cookie tops

1 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment or beaters, beat together the butter, shortening, sugar, and crystallized ginger at medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition and beating until well blended. Add the molasses and lemon zest and beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until blended and smooth. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, until firm enough to handle.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mats.
4. Place the dipping sugar in a shallow dish. Roll the dough into 1 ½-inch balls (or the size of your choice), and dip one side in the sugar. Arrange the ball, sugar side up, on one of the sheets. Using your palm, slightly flatten the ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and browned. Cool the cookies on the sheet set on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.



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