Yes, I went there… a Spice Girls reference. A SECOND TIER Spice Girls reference. My brothers are now killing themselves solely so they can turn over in their graves. Bwahahaha…
Ahem. Having committed myself to sending cookies all over the Eastern seaboard, I found myself needing to get my bake on. My answer? These chewy, crunchy, flagrantly fragrant ginger-spice cookies. They come together quickly, and are a perennial family favorite. I’ve made several minor changes to the recipe over the years, with each additional spice or alteration noted with a different color ink in my terribly beat-up copy of the Rosie’s Bakery cookbook, whose spine is conveniently cracked all the way through right at this recipe. Rolling the cookies in turbinado sugar deepens the flavor and makes for a more striking textural contrast between the chewy cookie and crunchy exterior, while adding dry mustard and pepper to the dough–a nod to Maida Heatter’s Moosehead gingerbread–gives these enough spice for Sporty, Baby, Crazy Scary, Ginger, AND Posh.
Chewy Ginger Cookies
adapted from Rosie’s Bakery
2 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs + 1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
12 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 c unsulphured molasses
1 tbs grated lemon zest
1/3 c turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together at medium speed till light and creamy, about three min. Scrape down the sides of the bowl twice during mixing. Add egg and beat to just combine. Scrape down the bowl. Add the molasses and lemon zest, beating till just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in half the flour with a spatula. Add the remaining flour and fold in till just completely mixed.
Do not over mix, or finish the dough with the mixer. You will end up with ginger rocks.
Put the turbinado sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll dough into generous tablespoon-sized balls and coat in the turbinado sugar. Place on the prepared cookie sheets and bake about 15 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Cookies are done when centers are puffed and cracks appear.
Yield: approximately 22 3″ cookies.