A few weeks ago I dropped off an order of decorated cookies at someone's house, and she insisted I try one of these cookies. I hesitated at first, since I'd spent the past 12 hours elbow deep in royal icing, but once I had one bite, I was hooked. They are perfectly chewy, delicately spiced and deliciously sweet. I immediately got the recipe.
I just love the crackled tops these get - it's one of my favorite looking cookies. The turbinado sugar also makes them look very cute and sparkly - in addition to adding a nice crunchy, textural coating.
Tip of the Day: Turbinado sugar (which is a large-grained, less refined sugar) is one of my favorite ingredients. It's wonderful sprinkled over pies, breads, or muffins for a nice added "crunch." I use this brand, but just about any should work. Demerara sugar is similar, but with larger grains of sugar. It can be used interchangably with turbinado. Muscovado sugar also has large grains, but it tends to be stickier and more intense than the other two, and can't always replace them.
Recipe: Makes about 4 dozen cookies
2 sticks (1 cup or 200g) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cups vegetable shortening (or another 1/2 cup butter)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
demerara or turbinado sugar for rolling - about 3/4 of a cup
Beat the butter and shortening together until combined. Add in the sugar, and beat for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, and beat until mixed, then add the molasses and continue beating until smooth.
Add the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt, and beat until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Roll 1" balls of dough in the turbinado sugar, until completely coated.
Place on a baking sheet, 1" apart, and bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.