Posts Tagged ‘Molasses’

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

About once or twice every holiday season, I find myself craving a good ginger cookie.  They taste like Fall, perfectly distilled into a little round treat.  The warm, earthy spices, the bits of heat from the ginger, along with the unique flavor from the molasses are magical.  And since I only eat ginger cookies once or twice a year, I want them to be fantastic– really something special.  This, friends, is that class of ginger cookie.

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

A couple years ago, my friend made these cookies and they blew me away.  The little bits of candied ginger really stood out.  She pointed me to the recipe and I’ve been making them ever since– with my own tweaks, of course.   I actually thought about crafting my own recipe this year, but then realized that there was really not a point.  This is the ginger cookie that I want.  It’s perfectly crisp on the outside, wonderfully chewy on the inside.  It’s spice combination is perfect, and there is  just enough molasses to bring it all together without being overpowering.  I love this ginger cookie.  And it’s even better rolled in  demerara or turbinado  sugar.  The extra crunch from the large granules is key.  Also, try it with a light sprinkle of sea salt on the very top.  Amazing.  And there’s an added bonus– these keep a bit longer than an average cookie, so making them ahead for gift-giving or cookie exchanges is a great option.  I hope you enjoy these cookies this holiday season!

Spiced Ginger Cookies | Relishing It

The Recipe: Spiced Ginger Cookies

(makes about 30)

2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 large egg (at room temperature)

1/4 cup mild-flavored molasses

Some sort of raw sugar for rolling, Turbinado or Demerara work well

Whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  Next, sift them together.  This will get rid of any lumps that ground spices sometimes form.  Stir in the crystallized ginger.  Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or by hand), cream the butter and brown sugar together for about 3 minutes on medium speed or until light and fluffy.  Next, add the egg and molasses to the mixture and continue to mix on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.  It is integral in any cookie recipe to cream the butter,sugar, and egg together long enough.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just fully incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  When the dough is chilled, roll it out into balls  ( I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) and roll them into the raw sugar.  Press down slightly ( but not too much) to flatten them a bit– or else they’ll end up being fairly puffy cookies.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes on the pan, then move to a cooling rack.  They keep  well for days in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

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Though chocolate is my favorite sweet, around this time of the year I love to bake with those warm, delicious holiday spices.  You know the ones I’m talking about– cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg.  Along with their unique flavors, I love their warm, comforting aroma wafting through the house.   It wakes me up from the cold-weather coma that sets in in December and January.  Ok, that might be a bit dramatic, but I’m still trying to grapple with the fact that Winter is here.   This week Aria and I did our best to fight cold outside by staying in the kitchen to bake gingerbread with cinnamon icing.  It was perfect.

The flavor of this dessert is exactly what I was looking for– the rich molasses and spices are sublime.  If you really like ginger, you can grate it and combine it with the minced crystallized form instead of using the ground variety.  If you do so, you’ll want about three tablespoons of each.  Another nice thing about this gingerbread recipe is that is works equally well in regular regular cake form or in mini-bundts, like I chose to do.  They are the perfect make ahead sweet snack, and they keep well for several days in an airtight container.  The moist, tender texture alone is a nice change of pace from all the holiday cookies that come flooding in over the next couple of weeks.  If you really want the full experience, make a hot chai latte and curl up on the couch with one of these.  It makes watching the falling snow and wind-whipped trees so much better.

The Recipe:  Gingerbread with Cinnamon Icing

(Makes 24 mini-bundts)

2 1/4 cups sifted (9 ounces) unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1/2 cup molasses

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk  (can be made by mixing 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar into 1/2 cup milk — let sit for 10 minutes)

1/2 cup milk

1 large egg

Cinnamon Icing

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2-3 tablespoons milk (you may need a bit more or less)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Position an oven rack to the middle.  If making mini-bundts, spray them with cooking spray or butter them.   An 11 x 7-inch pan or a 9-inch square pan can also be used; butter the bottom and sides and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and cocoa in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, molasses, sugar, buttermilk, milk, and egg on low speed.  Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium until smooth and thick, about 1 minute.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  As with all cakes, do not overmix.   Pour batter into selected pan.

Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan, 12-13 minutes for the mini bundts and about 40 minutes for the 11 x 7-inch pan.  Remove mini-bundts from pan immediately and cool on racks.

To make the icing: mix the powdered sugar and cinnamon together.  Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, until you get the desired constancy you want.  You will want it so you can easily dip each mini-bundt into the bowl.  Let icing harden before serving.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from The New Best Recipes Cookbook

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