Gingered Sugar Cookies

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Makes about 24 cookies

This recipe and the others from my week o' cookies (Thick & Chewy Double-Chocolate Cookies, Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies, and Peanut Butter Cookies) are all from Baking Illustrated. It's more or less the only baking book I use because it yields really good results and I learn a lot from it. Not sure if posting things from books is kosher here, so please let me know if I need to delete this.

If you like sugar cookies, but want to make them a bit more interesting, this is a neat recipe. The ginger adds a hint of warmth that makes a more deeply sweet flavor than plain sugar cookies. Plus it sounds a little fancy, but it's really easy.


  • 2 cups lower-protein unbleached all-purpose flour, eg. Pillsbury or Gold Medal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 16 tbsp (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar (+ 1/2 cup for rolling)
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger (before chopping, about 2-4 big slices)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger



  • 1 small shallow bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 large bowl
  • A glass or something with a flat round bottom for smushing cookies
  • Mixer or brute strength
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Various measuring implements
  • Knife (for chopping)
  • Parchment paper, two cookie sheets.

Prep stuff & mixing[edit]

- Preheat oven to 375 and set up your baking sheets and parchment paper. Your oven racks should be in the upper- and lower-middle positions.

- Combine flour, baking powder and salt in the medium bowl.

-Chop up your crystallized ginger into little tiny pieces (or however big you want to bite down on in the middle of a cookie-- it is alarming if you put huge pieces in, but maybe you like that. Anyway.) and grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger.

- In the food processor, process the 1/2 cup sugar for rolling the cookies with the fresh ginger until combined. Here is how it looks:



- In the large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.

- Add egg, vanilla and crystallized ginger and beat until combined. Boooring.

- Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

Cookie Assembly Line and Baking[edit]

- Set up a small bowl with cold water in it and a shallow bowl with the gingered sugar in it.

- Get your hands wet in the bowl of water and shake them off as best you can without actually drying them. This is supposed to help keep the dough from sticking to your hands and help the sugar stick to the dough, but mostly I found it icky and didn't do it enough.


- Roll small balls of dough, about 1.5 inches or a heaping tablespoon's worth. Roll each ball in the gingered sugar and place about 2 inches apart on your cookie sheets.

- Use your butter wrappers to grease the bottom of your cookie-smushing device (a drinking glass works well.).

- Smush each ball to about three quarters of an inch thickness. Dip the glass in the sugar every 3 or 4 balls so as to keep it from sticking to the cookies as much. Don't smush them too thin, or you end up with crunchy, over-browned cookies.


- Bake until the cookies are slightly colored in the middle and golden brown on the edges, about 15-18 minutes. Turn the cookie sheets around and switch top and bottom about halfway through the cooking time.

- Cool on the baking sheets for about 3 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool the rest of the way.


If you mess up and smush the cookies too much, don't despair. They're still delicious, and also can be used as shields.


Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy your cookies.