As we continue our culinary odyssey through the "12 Days of Cookies," the time has come to delve into one of my favorite treats - Ginger Molasses Cookies. When I started testing recipes for this series, I was absolutely dead set on having some kind of ginger molasses cookie. However, I'll be honest, I was not sure I'd be successful in turning my Basic Butter Dough into something ginger snap-adjacent. My thing is, if you have a ginger cookie, it better scream ginger. After some trial and error, I landed on a chewy, moist, cookie that has the strong flavor I'm looking for.
The Star of the Show
Let's talk about candied ginger – a total game-changer for these cookies. Taking a bite and experiencing that ginger zing is the whole reason for this recipe. Now, you've got options – you can snag it ready-made at the store or you can candy it yourself. It's not just for cookies; it's a delightful treat to have on hand, especially in the chilly season when colds are making the rounds. Ginger's got your back against those pesky sniffles
If you do decide to candy your own ginger, here's a quick tutorial:
- Fresh ginger root
- Granulated sugar
1. Peel and Slice the Ginger:
- Peel the ginger using a spoon or knife, removing the outer skin.
- Slice the ginger into thin pieces. You can choose between rounds or matchsticks, depending on your preference.
2. Blanch the Ginger:
- Place the ginger slices in a saucepan and cover them with water.
- Bring the water to a boil and let the ginger simmer for about 10 minutes. This helps soften the ginger and remove some of its spiciness.
3. Create a Sugar Syrup:
- In another saucepan, combine equal parts water and granulated sugar. For every cup of ginger, use a cup of sugar.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves.
4. Infuse Ginger with Sugar Syrup:
- Drain the blanched ginger and add it to the sugar syrup.
- Let it simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes, allowing the ginger to absorb the sweetness and become translucent.
5. Drain and Cool:
- Once the ginger has absorbed the syrup and has a glossy appearance, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a wire rack or parchment paper to cool. Save the syrup for another use, like sweetening beverages.
6. Optional Sugar Coating:
- If you want a sugar coating, toss the cooled candied ginger in granulated sugar until each piece is lightly coated. This step adds extra sweetness and prevents sticking.
- Allow the candied ginger to fully cool and dry before storing it in an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks or in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
Now you have a batch of homemade candied ginger ready to be enjoyed on its own, added to baked goods, or used as a sweet and spicy garnish. Don't throw away that left over sugar water - you've just made ginger simple syrup! Pour it in a glass bottle and use it in drinks or as a spicy sweetener in other recipes.
Delving into the fascinating world of ingredients, molasses emerges as a noteworthy character, born from the sugar-refining process as a valuable by-product. While finding its place in diverse baking applications, molasses particularly shines as a key player in the United States' culinary landscape. In our cookie tale, it takes the spotlight as the co-star, infusing the sweet richness that defines our creation. A pro-tip for this particular recipe: steer clear of blackstrap molasses; we're looking for the milder, sweeter notes to harmonize perfectly with the other flavors.
Trust The Process
Once you mix the molasses into the cookie, its going to give the dough a weird gooey consistency, it's okay - trust the process. Roll it into a log, wrap it in cling wrap and put it in the fridge over night or the freezer for about 20 minutes. Once its's firm, roll it in turbinado sugar (optional) and then cut the log the same way you would with any other slice and bake cookie. When you pull them out of the oven, make sure you serve them on one of these gorgeous hand painted cookie plates.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Prep: 20 Minutes
- Cook: 15 Minutes
- Total: 35 Minutes
- Serving: 1 Cookie
- Yield: About 20
- Basic Butter Dough
- 1 cup of chopped Candied Ginger
- ½ Tsp of cinnamon
- 1/8 Tsp of Cloves
- 1/8 Tsp of Nutmeg
- ⅓ cup of Molasses (not blackstrap)
- Turbinado sugar for rolling
Directions for Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350
- Mix in candied ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and molasses.
- Once combined, roll the dough into a log, wrap in clingwrap and put in the freezer
- After about 20 minutes, the dough should be hard enough to work with
- Roll the log in turbinado sugar
- Slice the log into about 20 cookies
- Roll chilled dough onto the counter, it should be no thicker than 1/8 of an inch
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack
- I know this ginger molasses dough seems like its going to spread a lot when you bake it, but it actually stays put. Don't sweat it.