Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Double Ginger Crackles and Pepparkakor
I grew up calling these cookies Swedish Ginger Crisps. I've only recently learned that they should be called Ginger Crackles.I have a weakness for all things ginger and collect recipes that use it in whatever form. These cookies are intensely flavored due to a double dose of ginger. The first hit comes from ground ginger; the second from crystallized ginger. The cookies are easy to do and they store beautifully. A word of caution - resist the temptation to overcrowd the cookie sheet. These cookies spread. I bake them a dozen at a time so they'll retain their shape. This recipe was developed by Abigail Johnson Dodge for Fine Cooking magazine. The second recipe comes from the kitchens of my childhood. It's a classic pepparkakor and it, too, is delicious.
Double Ginger Crackles
2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2-3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1) Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners.
2) Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Place butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until well blended. Add egg, molasses, and crystallized ginger; beat well. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended.
3) Pour remaining 1/3 cup sugar into a shallow bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in sugar to coat. Set balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
4) Bake, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until the cookies are puffed and bottoms are lightly browned, about 12 to 14 minutes. The surface cracks will look a bit wet. Remove from oven. Let cookies sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers. Yield: 4 dozen cookies.
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1) Heat molasses in small saucepan to boiling point. Add butter and sugar; stir until butter is melted. Scrape into a medium bowl. Cool. Add egg and beat to mix.
2) In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. Add to molasses mixture and mix to combine. Cover bowl and chill overnight.
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
4) Thinly roll out a portion of dough on a floured board. Cut into desired shapes.
4) Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Watch to make sure they don't burn. Cool on wire rack.
Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies.