By Julia Johnson,
Professional Culinary Arts student
Twinkling lights, crackling fires, the fragrant aroma of gingerbread baking in the oven – these are all things I associate with the holidays. And, seeing that Christmas is only just over a week away (how is that possible??), I wanted to share my go-to gingerbread cookie recipe with you. Please note that these cookies are heavy on the molasses, as I love its rich, deep flavor. This year, I drizzled the cookies with a fresh ginger glaze, which I feel adds a nice spiciness, but they are also delicious just plain. And, unlike most cookies, these are even better the day after they are made – making it even easier for you to get ahead of the game this holiday season. Hope you enjoy!
Gingerbread Cookies with a Fresh Ginger Glaze
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg
For the glaze:
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the molasses and egg and beat until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the spiced flour mixture and mix until the dough just comes together. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 ½ – 2 hours.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough until about 1/8 of an inch thick (making sure to move the dough frequently so it doesn’t stick. Using a biscuit cutter or small glass about 2-inches in diameter, cut circles from the dough and arrange on parchment-lined sheet pans. (Excess dough can be re-rolled and cut, but may need to be refrigerated again before rolling if it gets too warm).
Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes, depending on desired texture – 10 minutes will yield a chewy cookie, while 15 will yield a crunchier texture (make sure to keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn). Transfer to wire racks to cool.
While cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the ginger pieces with the heavy cream. Heat over medium-high heat until the cream just begins to bubble. Cover, remove from heat, and allow to steep for 20-30 minutes. Once steeped, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the ginger and cream mixture. Whisk until smooth. The glaze should be thick, but pourable. If too thick, add more of the ginger and cream mixture, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Once cookies have completely cooled, drizzle with ginger glaze and allow to rest on parchment paper or a wire rack until the glaze has hardened, about 30 minutes – 1 hour.