After a particularly harrowing trip to the mall (thanks Videoport for calling me about my lost and then found car keys!), my friend A and I retired to her house to make two cookie recipes. We ended up baking until midnight, mourning the loss of same-sex marriage in Maine while surrounding ourselves with cozy smells and a warm oven. It seemed appropriate to have a little bit of good karma (finding my lost keys) and to create some lovely treats on a day when the majority of Maine voters found it appropriate to repeal some civil rights.
While I don't even like crystallized ginger, these gingersnaps have such an intriguing flavor. I found the mix of spices to be unique (see the balsamic vinegar and cardamom), and A was so excited to use her brand new stand mixer. These cookies bake up beautifully and would be perfect as holiday gifts.
Gingersnaps with Crystallized Ginger
From Real Simple
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for coating
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cream the butter and 1 3/4 cups sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Lower to medium and add the eggs, molasses, vinegar, and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and pepper. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until incorporated. Fold in the crystallized ginger.
2. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions (it will be sticky). Place each portion on a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a 12-inch log, 2 inches in diameter. Wrap and chill for 1 hour.
3. Slice each log into disks, 1/2 inch thick. Dredge in the remaining sugar. Place on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake until crinkly around the edges, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.