I’ve made many-a-ginger-cookie, and finally discovered this version from Ina Garten, which really is the “ultimate” ginger cookie!
A little crispy on the outside, but then perfectly chewy in the middle. And wonderful, distinct gingery flavor! I doubled the recipe, because I think you’ll find that one batch simply isn’t enough. By the time you’ve tried one—or two, or three—just to make sure they are perfect… and then had your “tasters” try one… you get the picture… And… they are even better the next day. Another reason to love this recipe—I am a huge fan of anything that can be made ahead. You might be surprised that I listed these as kid-friendly, but these are Aja, my toddler’s favorite cookies that I bake.
When I visited my brother, Gary, at his house or furniture factory in Johannesburg (Jo’burg), there was always a big tin of delicious, crunchy, homemade “ginger biscuits” that looked like giant ginger flying saucers!
What? You must be thinking… Well, in South Africa, a “biscuit” is actually what’s known as a cookie here in the U.S., and a “cookie” is what’s known as a cupcake here. I know, pretty confusing. It took me a long time to learn the new lingo! I tried to recreate the experience, but I think sometimes when you convert recipes from “the old country” they just aren’t the same.
- 4 1/2 cups (22oz or 1 lb 6 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 scant teaspoons cloves
- 1 generous teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups (9 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (12oz) finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 4 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, and then combine the mixture with your hands.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low speed, add the eggs, and beat for 1 minute.
- Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute.
- With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.
- Scoop about 1 1/4 - 1 3/8 oz of dough, using a small cookie scoop.
- With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 1/2-inch ball, and then flatten them lightly with your fingers.
- Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans—about 12 per pan.
- Bake for 13 - 16 minutes.
- The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- You can find crystallized ginger in most markets these days - but uncrystallized will work fine too - just chop it up with a bit of sugar.
- The cookies should still be soft to the touch when you take them out, as they will harden as they cool.
- If you like your cookies to stay soft and moist, I recommend storing them in a tupperware. Separate each layer with wax or parchment paper in a cookie tin to keep them more crisp.