butter-licious ginger cookies

  • Currently 4/5
meltingly delish! with the bite of ginger and the nutty warmth of the browned butter, this brown sugar cookie is heavenly, in my humble opinion. and with the crackled sugar-crusted exterior and the chewy interior, this has my favorite cookie texture combination. another recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated. the original recipe just demanded the addition of ginger.

yields: 4 dozen cookies
14 tbsp (1 3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 oz fresh ginger sliced thin
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 c (12 1/4 oz) packed brown sugar
2 c (9 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup candied ginger, minced
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
special equipment
saucepan, light-colored (so you can see the butter brown)
baking sheet lined with parchment paper
1. heat 10 tablespoons butter in skillet over low heat, to just barely simmer, until melted. add the ginger and continue to cook, until milk solids are dark golden brown. the moment that you start to see shades of gold in the foam and when you start to smell the toasty smell of the browned butter, it's almost ready. push aside the foam so that you can see if the milk solids at the bottom of the pan are golden brown, yet. remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. remove the ginger pieces. add the salt and stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.
2. whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; add the candied ginger and mix with fingers to ensure ginger bits are not stuck together; set aside. in shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix together granulated sugar and brown sugar for the topping, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside.
3. add brown sugar to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain. add egg and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. scrape down bowl. add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
4. adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350ºF.
5. roll about 1 tablespoon of batter between your hands into balls about 1 inch in diameter. working in batches, toss balls in topping to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
6. bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. do not overbake.
7. cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.
the key to this recipe is the beurre noisette (aka browned butter); so sorry, no clarified butter or low-fat subs like margarine or vegetable shortening as the milk solids browning is what gives the rich flavor to this delectable treat.

another key ingredient is the brown sugar which adds more moisture. if you don't have dark brown sugar on hand, sub 1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 3-4.5 tbsp of molasses (1-1.5 tablespoon of molasses for light brown sugar).

you can freeze the uncooked dough and store in freezer for that quick hot cookie fix. i place the dough balls, already rolled in the sugar mixture, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until they are set enough that they don't stick together. takes about an hour or 2. store in ziplock freezer bags.

i pop them out of the freezer and straight into the oven. you might want to adjust the oven temperature down 5-10 degrees and increase the time, a bit, to ensure that the cookies are properly baked through.

perhaps will test this out with half whole wheat?
-appears to be heavier, not as risen.

Trader Joe has Uncrystallized Candied Ginger that's perfect for this. it's smooth and doesn't have the extra sprinkling of sugar like the TJ Ginger Slices do, which is my next go-to candied ginger.

possibly add an extra teaspoon of powdered ginger to bypass the more arduous step of simmering fresh ginger?
Meal   SnackDish   Cookie
Cooking Method   BakedMain Ingredient   Rice/Grains
Prep Time   15 to 30 minutesCooking Time   less than 15 minutes
Features   Vegetarian

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