Ginger cookies!

  • Unsalted butter, 2 sticks (227 grams)
  • Bleached all-purpose flour, 2 1/4 c., lightly spooned (272 grams)
  • Baking soda, 2tsp (11 grams)
  • Fine sea salt, 1/4 plus 1/8 tsp (2.3 grams)
  • Ground cinnamon, 1 tsp (2.2 grams)
  • Ground cloves, 1/2 tsp (1.3 grams)
  • Ground ginger, 1/2 tsp (0.5 grams) (Are you kidding me??!)*
  • Superfine sugar, 3/4 c plus 1 1/2 tbl (170 grams)
  • Molasses, 1/4 c (80 grams)
  • 1 large egg, room temp,3 tbl plus 1/2 tsp (50 grams)
  • Superfine sugar for rolling dough balls

Make the beurre noisette, and strain to get rid of any froth. Measure out 3/4 c (146 grams) of the clarified butter, then add the crunchy bits back in. Let cool to below 80F/27C.

Mix dry ingredients EXCEPT SUGAR together. In stand mixer, mix beurre noisette and sugar on low for 1 minute. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix for 30 seconds.

Divide dough into thirds, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least an hour. Can chill overnight, or freeze the dough to use later.

Preheat oven to 375F/190C for at least 30 minutes. Make dough into balls and roll in superfine sugar to coat. Bake for 4 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake another 4-6 minutes (or longer if making larger cookies.)

*So, the “Are you kidding me??!”: I love ginger. In the book, these are called “Molasses Sugar Butter cookies”, which is fine, for those who like bland, molasses cookies. As previously stated, I LOVE ginger, so, in addition to the measly 1/2 tsp of ginger called for in this recipe, I add another 2 1/2 tsp of ground ginger (for a total of one tablespoon), plus about 1/4 c of chopped candied ginger, PLUS another tablespoon or so of grated fresh ginger. My cookies bite back!

I’m so excited! I made ginger cookies from a recipe in The Baking Bible, by Rose Levy Berenbaum. She talks about having had cookies at a party, and finding that they were made with Crisco, she wanted to make them with butter, instead. But, butter has different physical properties than Crisco, so they wouldn’t come out right. Sounds familiar? I’ve been bitching about ginger cookies for two decades, because I have tried and tried my family’s recipe and the cookies always came out wrong! Basically, they wouldn’t flatten out, and were more cake-y than crisp-chewy, as they should be. And, of course, my grandmother used Crisco!

Berenbaum’s solution was to make them with beurre noisette, or browned butter, which is butter that has been clarified long enough for the solid bits to turn dark brown, and the liquid a rich golden color. Taking out the milk solids changes the water content of the butter to be closer to that of Crisco, so the batter behaves like dough made with Crisco. Also, the browning adds a lovely, rich flavor that Crisco can’t even begin to offer.

So, yay! Perfect ginger cookies!

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