Triple Threat Ginger Cookies

Ginger three ways: freshly minced, crystallized and ground.

I love ginger in all forms but it seems to really taste best when mixed with butter and sugar. Well, to be fair, most things seem to taste best that way.

These ginger cookies were made because it was a Saturday and I had just bought some crystallized ginger. Yes, it really was that simple. I had been craving ginger and spice since I read this delicious blog post by Dinners for Winners and finally I had all the ingredients needed to make some yummy ginger treats of my own.

Or at least I thought I had all the ingredients. *Sigh*

It always seems to happen that I’m missing something. In this case it was a few things — though nothing important enough to prevent me from baking. I settled on a basic recipe, one I’ve used before and enjoyed, these Triple Ginger Cookies from Bon Appetite. They are from the Dec. 2009 issue, which by the way, had a pretty incredible pictorial spread of holiday cookies. There were cardamom crescent cookies and peppermint bark squares all very whimsically placed in a winter wonderland. I kept that issue around for much longer than necessary. It was just so fun.

And speaking of Bon Appetit, this recipe shouldn’t be confused with these Triple Ginger Cookies from their January 2011 issue…even though they are eerily similar. I still haven’t made these ones yet, though next time maybe I’ll give them a shot (mostly because I’m curious if they taste much different).

Okay, back to the story. First off I was foiled by my lack of butter. I only had about a 1/4 cup that wasn’t rock-solid frozen. Briefly I contemplating using the 2011 recipe, since it called for vegetable shortening instead of butter. But I only managed to scare up about 1/2 cup of Crisco, so I went back to the original plan. Combining the two, I just eked out enough buttery substances to work this recipe work.

I didn’t have both light and dark brown sugars so I used light for 3/4 of the cup and used some super delicious muscovada sugar for the rest. Let’s just say that was an excellent decision. And since the only molasses I had on hand was “full flavored” (why bother with mild molasses?), I rolled with it. Molasses is a good thing, especially in cookies.

So even with miniscule tweaking and minor set backs, these cookies turned out just as fabulous as I remembered. They have a little kick from the crystallized ginger and enough spice from the cloves and cinnamon to balance everything out.

Don’t be afraid to pull them out just as instructed (when they are still very soft in the centers but firm around the edges). Since they cool on the sheet pan, they finish baking and firm up into perfectly chewy, rich cookies that taste like fall. I am more of a crunchy cookie person, but these are the perfect chewy cookie, I was absolutely unable to resist them.

Oh yeah, and if you roll them in pretty sanding sugar mixed with regular sugar before baking, they turn out sparkly!

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