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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweet & Spicy Ginger Cookies

If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I don't have much of a sweet tooth. You also probably know that I absolutely love ginger. So it doesn't come as a big surprise that for this years cookie swap party with my friends, my contribution were sweet and spicy ginger cookies. They are certainly sweet, like any good cookie must be, but have a definite savory spiciness that comes from the three (yes, three) forms of ginger used in this cookie.

In addition to adding a savory element to most desserts I make, I also like to challenge myself to give them some kind of redemptive nutritious quality. Now I would not go so far as to call these cookies healthy, but they are certainly not as bad for you as most. Almost half of the flour used in this recipe is whole wheat flour. Whole wheat
flour (not to be confused with white wheat flour) has not had the wheat bran and wheat germ removed, which is results in higher levels of iron, fiber, calcium and other minerals like selenium. Ginger, the dominant flavor in the cookie, is commonly used to promote digestive health and is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent (not to mention that it adds a wonderfully pungent and spicy flavor).

So maybe I'm pushing it a little, but I like to think that because of all t
hat ginger, having one of these cookies after a big meal (which tends to happen a little too often this time of year, right?) is not over doing it, but part of a strategy to help digest all of the food I just ate.

Ok, that argument does not hold much merit, but I'll keep making, and eating, them anyway.

Sweet & Spicy Ginger Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, minced
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. (scant) dark brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 c. unsulfured molasses

2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3 c. turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl stir together the all purpose and whole wheat flour, crystallized ginger, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the brown sugar and beat another 3 minutes. Add egg, molasses, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Beat until just combined. Over low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Put turbinado sugar into a bowl. Scoop out approximately 1 Tbsp. dough and roll into ball using palms of hand and then roll in the turbinado sugar to coat. Place on cookie sheet, spacing cookies at least 1 1/2" apart.

Bake 14 minutes, or until slightly crispy around the outside but soft inside and cracked on top. Transfer to cooling rack.

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