Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ginger Cracks
(the best ginger cookie you will ever eat)

It's December 1st and the Christmas cookie baking season has officially begun!  I LOVE this time of year, not only because of the joy of the Season, but because it's a wonderful excuse for me to bake cookies.  I made the dough for Ginger Cracks a couple of days ago, divided it into 3 parts, froze two and made these cookies this morning. I'm going to give some to a friend who is doing a favor for me, and share the rest with Lee! (these are his personal favorites by the way).

I have had this recipe for many years and as most of my recipes go, I don't remember the source. I wish I could give credit where it is due. 

The taste of Gingerbread Cookies, I think, is completely set apart for the Christmas season. However, there is only ONE cookie I will devote the time to rolling and cutting and that is my Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies (recipe is here on my blog). Ginger Cracks give the wonderful, spicy taste of Gingerbread with the simplicity of scooping and baking. Tah-dah! EASY.

I hope you make these - I'm sure they will be a favorite of yours as well! Merry Christmas.

Ginger Cracks~

2 C plus 1 TBL unsifted all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 C vegetable shortening
4 TBL (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C plus 2 TBL sugar
1 large egg
1/4 C plus 1 TBL mild, unsulphered molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 C chopped crystallized ginger
about 1/2 C coarse decorator sugar for
rolling (you can also use regular sugar if
you can't find this)

1. Onto waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, baking
powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

2. In a mixer, beat shortening and butter on low speed until
smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add sugar; beat on
medium speed 1 minute. Blend in egg, molasses and vanilla.
Scrape down sides of bowl frequently.

3. On low, add the flour in 2 additions, beating just until
particles of flour are absorbed. Blend in ginger. Dough will
be stiff and sticky.

4. Scrape dough onto large sheet of plastic wrap. Using a
spatula, flatten into a shallow cake. Wrap up dough and
freeze for 30 minutes before using. (Dough can be
refrigerated for up to 2 days).

5. Heat oven to 375.

6. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place
decorator sugar for rolling, in a bowl. For each cookie, shape
1 level TBL into a ball. Roll in the sugar. Place balls, 3
inches apart, on sheets, 9 per sheet. Dough will spread as it

Using a small cookie scoop makes it easy and cookies will be the same size.

Ready for the oven!

7. Bake in 375 oven for 12 minutes. As cookies bake, they will
puff up, then flatten out. Surfaces will appear crackly and
crinkly. Let stand on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer to
wire racks. Let cool. Store in airtight container at room
temperature for up to 3-4 days.

These cookies never last for more than a couple of days around here....

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