The rhizome, or underground root, of ginger is beloved for the aromatic, powerful punch of flavor it imparts in both sweet and savory applications. Ginger is also beloved in traditional folk medici...
About this recipe
The first known recipe for gingerbread (the ginger cookie’s forebear) hails from Greece in 2400 BC, according to Rhonda Massingham Hart’s won- derful gem of a book Making Gingerbread Houses.Ginger root was first cultivated in ancient China and spread to Europe via the Silk Road. By the late Middle Ages, there were gingerbread cookies being enjoyed throughout Europe, especially at fairs and times of feasting. This recipe blurs the lines between cookie and sablé, and home chefs can choose which version they’d like to skew closer to.
Makes 75 cookies
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (King Arthur is Edible’s AP flour of choice)
11⁄2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1–2 tablespoons ground ginger, to taste (Tom uses 2 tablespoons)
12 ounces unsalted butter, preferably European style, at a cool room temperature (Cabot 83 butter is a regional option that works beautifully)
12⁄3 cups light brown sugar, packed
11⁄3 cups finely chopped crystallized ginger, more to taste Two medium pastured eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar, optional
Sift together the first four ingredients. Set aside. Cream butter until creamy with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. Scrape down
the sides of the bowl. Add brown sugar and continue to cream this until somewhat fluffy and light, again, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add chopped ginger and beat until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add flour mixture and, with a spatula, blend into the butter mixture until somewhat amalgamated. Put bowl back on mixer stand and mix just until a soft dough forms. Remove to a cookie sheet lined with parchment, form dough into a thick roughly 8-inch square, cut the square into 4 even strips, and then roll into logs. Wrap in plastic wrap (or parchment) forming the dough into 4 even logs, about 2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days, or freeze for a month.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°. Remove cookie dough from fridge. Line cookie sheets with parchment. To encrust the sides of the cookie with sugar (optional), pour about a half cup of the tur- binado sugar onto a clean cutting board. Remove plastic or parch- ment from cookie logs, which should be at a cool room temperature. Roll in the turbinado sugar, pressing so it adheres. Cut into 1⁄2-inch slices and arrange on baking sheet about an inch apart.
Bake 1 sheet at a time—it just seems to work better. Bake for 9 min- utes, rotate baking sheet, then bake for another 9 minutes. You may bake up to 24 minutes total if you wish a snappier cookie, only 16 minutes if you want a very chewy cookie. Cool on the parchment on a wire rack. When completely cool, store in airtight containers lined with parchment.