Archive for December 17, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies


I spent years looking for a good gingerbread recipe that used butter instead of shortening, but I never found one I loved, so I made up this one. Whether you like your gingerbread cookies soft and chewy or nice and crispy, this is the perfect recipe. The dough is easy to work with, the cookies are flavorful but not overpowering, and they last for weeks in an airtight container. In a word: yummy.



Gingerbread Cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

confectioner’s sugar and milk (for glaze)


Place butter in large bowl and beat with electric mixer for one minute or until soft and creamy. Add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg and vinegar. Beat in flour.

Divide dough in half and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 in thickness. Cut with cookie cutter and place one inch apart on cookie sheet (works equally well with large cookie cutters or the little mini-cutters).

Bake for 5-6 minutes until cookies become a lighter brown. Cool on sheet for a minute or two before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Decorate as desired. (I mix 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk, until the mixture is a good drizzling consistency, then I drizzle the cookies with the glaze. They can be iced entirely or decorated with the glaze or frosting of your choice.)

Layer between slices of waxed paper and store in airtight container.

Note: if you prefer a chewy cookie, take them out of the oven while your finger still leaves an indentation in the dough, if you like a crunchy cookie, bake a few minutes longer.




Chocolate Crinkle Cookies


After years of trying different Chocolate Crinkle recipes I finally settled on this as the best one. They stay soft and chewy for at least a week if packed in an air tight container, which makes them perfect to make ahead for an event or to ship to out-of-town friends who may be in need of a chocolate care package.

Soft. Fudgy. Delicious.

Try them. You’ll like them.


Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 ounces unsweetend chocolate, melted

1/2 cup oil (I use expeller pressed canola, any vegetable oil will do but do NOT use olive oil)

2 teaspoons baking power

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

confectioner’s sugar


Melt chocolate in large microwave safe bowl. Add sugar, oil, baking powder, vanilla and eggs. Beat with hand mixer on medium-high speed, scraping sides of bowl, until well combined. Mix in as much flour as possible using mixer. Stir in last bit of flour by hand. The dough will be quite firm. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Scoop dough into 1 inch balls (I use a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon). Roll each ball in confectioner’s sugar and place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Press down on each ball just enough that it won’t roll off the sheet when you’re putting it in the oven (trust me on this—powdered sugar burning onto the bottom of your oven is not something you want to deal with).

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges of each cookie are set and the tops are all crackled. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in air-tight container. You can redust them with fresh confectioner’s sugar if needed.