Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chewy Triple Ginger Cookies

It was really hot here in NYC last week (like late July hot, 90 degrees and humid) and it’s been making me crave ice cream sandwiches. There are a few places in town that serve up a mean one (check out the roundup that Serious Eats did last summer), but there’s something to be said about a homemade ice cream sandwich.

I had planned to make rhubarb-ginger frozen yogurt and serve it with fresh strawberries (the teeny tiny ones from our fruit share), but I later decided that those strawberries deserved to be eaten on their own so that they could take center stage. I suppose we could have eaten the frozen yogurt by itself, but, being who I am, I couldn’t just stop there; I would make ice cream sandwiches with it!

I think this was a result of the terrible one I had eaten at the Newport Creamery over Memorial Day weekend: the cookie was hard, way too sweet, and just massive, and the ice cream was ok, but also too sweet – I could barely finish the ice cream that I was spooning out from between the terrible cookies. So what better to go with rhubarb than ginger, which I was actually going to use as an ingredient in the frozen yogurt but I left it out so that I could make these ginger cookies.

I have yet to encounter a ginger cookie that isn’t a gingerbread-type cookie, i.e., contains molasses. I guess the two are inextricably linked in the lexicon of American baking – a ginger cookie is by default one that contains molasses and cloves. But for this dessert, I wanted a pure ginger cookie – nothing else but ginger, so that it would be lighter (both in color and flavor) and so that the ginger would really shine.

I’ve based these off a basic sugar cookie recipe and have added three types of ginger – ground, fresh, and crystallized – to give these cookies a deep ginger flavor, but not so much that you can’t make your way through the whole thing. They’re perfect for ice cream sandwiches of any flavor (they were killer with the rhubarb frozen yogurt!) or just eating as a snack.


Chewy Triple Ginger Cookies
makes about 2 dozen 1 ½” inch cookies

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup bread flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup turbinado sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup turbinado sugar (for rolling the cookies)


Sift the cake flour, bread flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ground ginger into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and turbinado sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the crystallized ginger, grated ginger, and vanilla, and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Heat an oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat sheets. Put the 1 cup turbinado sugar in a small bowl.

Scoop the dough into 1” balls (I like to use a small cookie scoop) and roll each ball in the turbinado sugar. Place the dough balls onto the prepared sheets.  (I f you’re using these are bookends for ice cream sandwiches, press down on each one lightly using the bottom of a drinking glass.)  Bake until the edges are lightly golden and the tops are puffy and crackly, 13-16 minutes.  The cookies will still be soft.

Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.

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