Chewy Ginger Cookies
Ah! Cookies from Joy! ‘Joy’ refers to The Joy of Cooking , the source of the modified recipe below and an excellent cookbook for every one-experienced or not-to have on a shelf in their kitchen. ‘Ginger’ is in reference to the main flavor of these fabulous cookies. And calling them ‘Jewels’ is because I am pretty sure you could use them as currency in some countries. Yup. They are that good. I don’t know what the exchange rate would be because I would rather give up money than these cookies, but it has got to be pretty high. Maybe 3 cookies on the dollar?
Now I must explain myself, as ginger is a spice I love, but…well…it isn’t my absolute favorite. Chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin; all of these are cookies I am more likely to choose before picking up a ginger cookie. I suppose the main reason is because I grew up not really liking ginger snaps. You know, those hard as a rock, kinda bitter, spicy cookies that are the size of a silver dollar? No thanks. Never being a fan of food with the texture of cement, I generally ignored these types of cookies. And ginger was not a flavor my parents incorporated into the menus of my youth very often. Asian food, a cuisine that uses ginger on a regular basis, wasn’t exactly prevalent. Chow mien was about it, which, incidentally I actually loathe. Yes, Mom and Dad, I still hate chow mien. A lot. I wasn’t kidding all those years when you made me eat it for dinner. Its one of the only foods in existence that I absolutely can’t stand and the memories of it make me shudder.
But back to ginger, the one exception in eating it was these cookies. My Mother has been making them for years and I think that the original recipe even has frosting included. But I am not really sure because my edition of The Joy of Cooking does not have the recipe in it. I think my Mom got the cookbook as a wedding gift sooooo….30+ years later, the editors apparently thought it was expendable. For SHAME!! Obviously they never made them or they would give these cookies their own page. Their own chapter! *sigh* You may think I am over exaggerating and if you know me personally…well…that isn’t so much of a stretch. But seriously! They are quite fantastic. And I have never had anyone disagree with me. They have a bite of ginger without being overwhelming, and they turn out thin, chewy and perfect EVERY TIME! Without fail. My favorite feature? They freeze beautifully. Why is this such a perk, you ask? The recipe makes about four dozen so you have enough to fill a gallon freezer bag and save them for later. And when you take them out and defrost them they are just as chewy and wonderful as the day you baked them. I like to make a batch to tuck in the freezer for families with a new baby. Its a little treat for when company comes over to visit the new addition and it is instant calories in the middle of the night when you have been up for 36 hours straight. Sharing is something they taught us in Kindergarten so spread the love! And maybe. Just maybe. Someday, I will be able to pay my cable bill with them. Fingers crossed. Chewy Ginger Cookies (updated w/new pic 12/5/12)
These are perfect for the holiday season, but I make them all the time. You should too.
3/4 c butter
2 c sugar
1/2 c molasses
2 tsp white vinegar
3 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Mix until combined. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. If desired, roll each ball in granulated sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for exactly 11 minutes! Cool on pan for a few minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.