Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ginger Crinkle Cookies

Every Christmas since I can remember, I have made Molasses Ginger Cookies. They are my absolute favorite. I include them in all of my give away cookie tins and it is usually the recipe most requested. This year I am in Germany and I couldn't find any molasses. I did find Zuckerrubensirup which is similar, but it is much lighter - more like dark corn syrup. I also couldn't find brown sugar, so I used just regular granulated sugar and the the cookies ended up being much lighter in color as well. I compensated by adding a lot more ginger. I also added just a pinch of white pepper to jazz things up. It's a common ingredient in Pfefferneuse cookies here in Europe. The good news is that they still crackled on the top with that wonderful sprinkle of sugar and they tasted heavenly. This is the one cookie that makes it smell like Christmas for me and this recipe variation is going to be a keeper.

Ginger Crinkle Cookies

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks or 160g)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light flavored molasses or Zuckerrubensirup
2 3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger (buy this one fresh for best flavor)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of white pepper - about 1/8 teaspoon
Extra sugar for rolling - about 1/3 cup in a small bowl

Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and molasses and continue to stir until evenly mixed. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and stir until just mixed thoroughly with no dusty flour at the bottom or sides of the bowl.

Make balls with the palms of your hands about the size of walnuts or a generously rounded tablespoon. Roll in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet (I used parchment paper and Silpat liners are even better). Bake at 350 degree for 8 - 10 minutes until the crackle on the tops are obvious and they are just barely beginning to set in the middle if you want them chewy. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before removing to a wire rack or plate.

Five Element Analysis

Cookies are always going to belong to the Earth Element as they are so sweet, but these cookies have a lot more Metal Element to them because of all the pungent spices. The Wood Element is represented by the wheat flour and the black pepper adds just a hint of fire. I think these cookies are best with a cup of tea, which would bring in even more Fire. There's not a lot of Water Element in this cookie so maybe they would be a good dessert after a big bowl of soup and then there would be room to eat a lot more of them....

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