As fall graces us I’m drawn to cozier, warmer flavors. Nothing seems to embrace the change in season better than cinnamon, ginger & cloves. I happen to have a favorite cookie that incorporates all of these—Soft Gingerbread Spice Cookies. The true highlight being the ginger. Spicy & pungent, ginger adds a zing to any dish, and a little goes a long way! Additional to its culinary uses, ginger root is known for its strong medicinal qualities, and since ancient times has shown effective for GI troubles, aiding indigestion & even motion sickness. The official name is zingiber officialle, and the rhizome of the plant is not only soothing to thy stomach, but the gingerol compound found in the root, has been shown in modern studies as a potent anti-inflammatory aiding in arthritis. Additionally it has shown to be an antioxidant, and to inhibit tumor cell formation in recent mouse studies. I enjoy ginger in many of its forms: I drink ginger tea, use ginger syrup in sparkling water, and have come to enjoy it crystallized—and who isn’t tempted to order a Canada Dry on an airplane? So many ways to enjoy this spice, it’s almost too easy.
Though you can find ginger to simply supplement, I prefer to cook with it using the root or ground ginger. Though I don’t consider cookies to be a health food, sometimes you just need to bake. Using some ground ginger, created these boasting a slightly crisp outside, and a soft center. These are thin like the cutout gingerbread kind, but taste much lighter. I love to have one right from the oven with a little powdered sugar on top.
Time to spice things up:
- 2¼ cup flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter, softened (1.5 sticks)
- 1 cup baker's sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 T water
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup white sugar (for rolling dough before baking)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting tops of baked cookies
- Parchment paper, for lining baking pan
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Prepare large baking sheet with piece of parchment paper to fit.
- In mixing bowl sift dry ingredients: flour, ginger, soda, cinnamon, cloves & salt.
- Whisk dry ingreds well.
- In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter & sugar.
- Beat in egg, then add water and molasses, combine till smooth.
- Gradually add dry flour mix into the wet mixture.
- Transfer dough into smaller metal bowl and place in freezer for about 25-35 minutes (*Consistency of dough is soft set, so chilling dough allows us to make perfect rounds for baking).
- Remove firmed dough from freezer and roll into about 1T size dough balls, in palms of hands.
- Roll to coat each dough ball on a shallow dish with remaining sugar.
- Place sugar covered dough balls on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 8-10 min, till browned.
- *Cookies will have slight crust on outside, but be soft inside!
- Immediately cool cookies on wire baking rack.
- Once cooled, dust tops of cookies with powdered sugar.
- Store left over cookies in air-tight container, but also stores well in fridge and freezer.
I get requests for these from friends quite a lot, so I always double the batch! I even like to make the dough ahead and freeze it for impromptu cookie emergencies—you can never be too prepared. I think these are a must try as the holidays grow near (and word on the street is Santa is quite partial to them too). They also make for an excellent dessert for holiday gatherings or potlucks . . . and really, they’re just down right simple to make. It’s time to get yourself a glass of milk, a couple of these cookies, and your day just became a little sweeter (and cookies are a legitimate lunch).
I’m going to have this one right now in fact ↓