It is GORGEOUS here in Boston! The temperatures have dropped below 75º and it is time for some serious baking.
We love ginger around here. My daughter can make a meal out of the pickled ginger condiment that comes with sushi, and considers crystallized ginger a major treat. I love it in tea, soup and cake, not to mention cookies. These cookies pack so much ginger per bite, I feel I need to to warn those of you who may only be casual ginger fans. They are spicy, sweet, crispy, and contain THREE different forms of that hot little tuber: ground, fresh and crystallized (candied) ginger. If ginger is not one of your favorite flavors, approach with caution.
Three-Way Gingersnaps, from The Modern Baker, by Nick Malgieri
Measuring out and rolling each cookie in sugar before baking takes a little while, so be sure to leave yourself time to do this, and get into it… put on some music have a glass of wine, invite a friend to help!
2 cups all purpose flour (do NOT pack your flour into your measuring cups, scoop or spoon lightly and level off with a knife)
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies before baking
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger (you cannot use a microplane zester for this unless your ginger is frozen. Use the small tear-drop shaped holes of a box grater, or just mince your ginger VERY finely)
2 Tbs finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 Tbs honey
Prepare 2-3 cookie sheets by greasing, or lining with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325º F (160º C).
Mix the four, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
Combine the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat with a paddle on medium speed until lightened, ~ 3 minutes. Beat in the egg until smooth.
Decrease the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Beat in the fresh ginger, crystallized ginger and the honey. After they are incorporated, beat in the remaining flour mixture. Remove bowl from mixer and use a rubber spatula to give it one last mixing.
Roll 1/2 a tsp of dough in your hands at a time to make a little sphere. Then roll it in a shallow bowl of sugar (I think I used about 1/2-2/3 cup of sugar for the rolling). Flatten it just slightly and place it on the prepared cookie sheet. Continue with the remaining dough keeping about 2 inches between cookies and sides of the pan.
Bake the gingersnaps until they spread and become deep golden, 15-20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, switch the placement of the pans in the oven so the cookies bake evenly. Cool cookies on pan for a couple minutes, then transfer to racks or plates to cool completely.