05 August 2011

Sugared Gingersnaps

Gingersnap cookies get their spicy flavor from the molasses and ground ginger, cinnamon and pepper that are added to the batter. Although they're most often associated with the holidays, I see no reason to limit such a delicious cookie to December. This particular recipe, adapted from the gingersnap recipe in Alice Water's Chez Panisse cookbook, is slightly more summery than most: the cookies are lighter in color than traditional gingersnaps and a bit airier and chewier in texture thanks to the use of granulated sugar, rather than the more traditional brown. Even better, they glitter: the coating of coarse sugar crystals both looks and tastes fantastic. Try the batter as you go along, and if you'd like a spicier cookie, add an extra 1/4 tsp black pepper and/or 1/4 tsp finely chopped crystallized ginger.

And just a quick tip: if you're like me and stop at Starbucks at least once a day, try to grab a couple of packets of 'sugar in the raw' every time you go in. I needed only about 10 packets for one batch of these cookies.

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
5 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup molasses
1 small egg
coarse sugar crystals, for coating

Combine dry ingredients and stir
In a separate bowl, beat butter until soft and fluffy
Add sugar and beat until smooth
Add vanilla, molasses and egg, and beat until smooth
Gradually stir in dry ingredients
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log
(about the size of a tube of pillsbury sugar cookie dough)
Cover in plastic wrap and freeze for an hour
(can also refrigerate overnight)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil
(I use silpats)
With a sharp knife, slice dough into 15-20 cookies
Press each cookie into bowl of coarse sugar (on one side only), and
place sugar-side-up on baking sheet
Bake 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown
(cookies will be slightly puffy, but will harden as they cool)
The longer they bake, the more 'snappy' they'll be

15-20 cookies

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