Monday, December 12, 2011

Chewy Ginger Cookies

When it comes to cookies, I prefer soft and chewy over crunchy. So when I saw ginger cookies (not crunchy ginger snaps) at a bake sale, I had to try them. It was love at first bite: gingery, spicy, chewy, moist, and I love the pieces of candied ginger in them.  I asked around to see who brought them so I could get the recipe, and luckily they sent it to me. I've been making these cookies every Christmas season since I first tasted them.

I recently baked the Chewy Ginger cookies for the 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (set up by Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil).  Everyone was assigned three food bloggers to send one dozen cookies, and they would receive cookies from three different bloggers.  With over 22,000 cookies sent around the world, this is quite possibly the largest cookie swap ever!

I received Mostaccioli (Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies) from Justine at A Half Baked Life, Lavender Shortbread Cookies from Ellie at White and Dorky Chef and Cardamom and Sesame Cookies from Joanna at Meatless Most Days.   I loved that all of these cookies were different than anything I've tried before.  Ellie suggested pairing the Lavender Shortbread with tea and it was a great combo.  It was a fun coincidence that Justine sent me a traditional Italian cookie without knowing that I had just been to Italy.  The Cardamom Sesame Cookies tasted like they could be Chinese.  All of the cookies were delicious, and I definitely see myself making them at some point.


Over 620 bloggers participated so it took two roundup posts to showcase them all:  Part 1 and Part 2.  There is also a Facebook page devoted to the cookie swap.

If you're a food blogger (or will be by next fall) and want to participate in the 2nd annual cookie swap, you can sign up here for notifications about next year's swap.

Chewy Ginger Cookies
Adapted from The Ginger People via a coworker
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups (+ 1/4 cup flour to stir into the chopped crystallized ginger)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz crystallized (or candied) ginger, chopped
Turbinado Sugar, for rolling (~ 1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, molasses and egg. Beat well.  In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the floured crystallized ginger. Cover the mixing bowl tightly with foil or plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least 1 hour. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. If you prefer crunchier cookies, just bake them a little longer.

Recipe Notes:
- Crystallized/candied ginger can usually be found in the bulk section or wherever the dried fruit and nuts are in your grocery store.
- Turbinado sugar is similar to sugar in the raw
- Regular sugar can be substituted for the turbinado sugar
- The ginger can be difficult to chop if your knife isn't sharp.  Pull out that sharpening steel that came with your knife block.  If you're not sure how to use it, check this out.
- Sometimes the candied ginger will stick to the knife. If this happens, just clean off the knife, and grease it with a little butter.
- Try to keep the dough as cool as possible.  I usually stick the filled cookie sheets in the fridge until that batch is ready to go into the oven.


  1. Thank you for sending me your wonderful and tasty cookies.

    I love drinking ginger tea and cooking with ginger, so I wasn't surprised that I liked my first taste of ginger cookies.

    How funny, it looks like we got the same cookies from the same bloggers too.

  2. Yowza, these look great! Yum!

  3. Li and I made these for a party today. They came out awesome. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. I had the cookies that Noah baked from your recipe. I kept going back for more. Tasty and chewy... Perfect!

  5. These are the best ginger cookies I have ever had! I took about two dozen of these home with me after Sarah brought these to Christmas! LOVE THEM!