“Hey, Dad. You know what the best part about eating these cookies with the ice cream? It’s all the crumbs, that get in the bottom of the cup, and mix with the melting ice cream.”
Yes, daughter of mine. Right you are.
I promised that, if it was good, I’d pass on the details. You can assume that since you’re looking at a photo and reading about my 6-year old’s personal take on the experience, it indeed qualified as good. And, since I know you all made the pumpkin ice cream already, you must be chomping at the bit for the ginger cookies, right?
This is a yearly cookie-making excursion for me. I can’t remember where I got the recipe — it might be a variation from a Martha Stewart magazine. These are ginger-molasses cookies; soft and chewy if you make them huge and don’t overbake them. I made smaller ones (as describe in my adaptation below), and baked them a little longer, so they’d get a little crunchier since I knew I was using them with ice cream (and the goal is the afore-mentioned crunchy crumbs). If you are looking for a ginger snap, this isn’t your cookie. By the same token, these aren’t deep-brown molasses cookies, either. Somewhere in between, with a zippy kick from the addition of ground black pepper (yeah, baby!).
This recipe makes two dozen good-sized cookies; perfect for freezing half your dough for later use (something I love doing during the holidays to save time). Of course, you could always bake them all, and see how long they can last on your counter (I’m placing my bet on empty containers over stale cookies).
Ginger Cookies (adapted from Martha Stewart? maybe?)
makes about 24 4″ cookies
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger (yes, that much! — make sure it’s still fresh)
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus more for topping)
- 6 Tbsp molasses
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350º.
Whisk dry ingredients (flour through black pepper) together in a large bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs. Gradually add dry ingredients until just mixed.
Divide dough into two balls, then flatten each into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap (at this point you can freeze one or both halves for future use).
If baking immediately, freeze the dough for 20 minutes, or refrigerate overnight before baking. Divide a disk into 12 1-inch pieces. Dip balls into sugar (I use turbinado sugar, for large crystals), and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten balls slightly with palms of hand, and sprinkle a little more sugar on top.
Bake 12-15 minutes. They should flatten out a good bit, and crack on top — it’s hard to tell if they are overbaking since they are already brown, so watch them carefully. Cool on racks.