Friday, August 5, 2011

Chunky Chewy Ginger Cookies

Some people obsess about fast cars.

Some people obsess about boys....or girls.

Some people obsess about peep-toe pumps, high-waisted skirts, coach purses, red lipstick, the latest iPod application, video games, tv shows or how tanned they can get every summer.

I obsess about none of these things. Ok well maybe the pumps...

I obsess about the thin paper crust on top of brownies, the soft chewy center of a chocolate chip cookie, a puddle of hot fudge at the bottom of my ice cream sundae, the crispy edges on roasted potatoes, the burnt corner pieces of a lasagna and the hard crust on a loaf of freshly baked bread.

I dream about these things. I loose sleep over these things. It's ridiculous. You can think I'm weird. It's ok. Most people do.

Right now I'm obsessing about these Chunky Chewy Ginger Cookies. They're made with 100% brown sugar and they're full of ginger which is totally fantastic in my books.

What keeps these cookies thick and soft inside is the relatively high ratio of flour to fat and the addition of a bit of baking powder. The dough won't spread excessively as it bakes, leaving you with one heck of a cookie that you can really sink your teeth into.

Letting the dough balls chill in the fridge also keeps these guys thick. It gives the butter a chance to firm up so that the dough can set or bake before the butter melts. They're sneaky that way...

Chunky Chewy Ginger Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

First place room temperature butter in the refrigerator until slightly firm, about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together flour, ginger, clove, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until somewhat light and a bit airy, 3 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat 1 minute more. Scrape down, add egg and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until incorporated, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add half of flour mixture and mix on low for 15 seconds. Add remaining flour and mix 15 seconds more.

Roughly roll 1.5-2 oz portions of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets, spreading them 2 inches apart (you can press them down slightly to flatten if you want). Place the entire cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown on the bottom and top, about 10 minutes.
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