The time has come. We are here. You know all those sugar free or gluten and sugar free baked goods that I make throughout the year? Wherein, I often state that I’m not hardcore about it and that holiday baking is the one time that I don’t mess?
We’re at that time…
The next few recipes I’ll be posting around here will be all sugar, all butter, all old-school, artery blocking deliciousness just the way your Granny did it. (On a related note, what’s up with all of the newer cookie recipes online calling for oil over butter? Blech.) If I were to be honest, I’d tell you that I did attempt a sugar and gluten free spin on one of my favourite recipes, double dutch chocolate and peppermint cookies. I made a double batch. Which turned out like hard little hockey pucks. By the next day they weren’t the chewy morsels that they were supposed to be. They could in fact put a dent in the floor, the wall…anywhere one might throw one.
I had to chuck the lot (never bake in large quantities when doing experimental, substitutional baking, DUH) and decided then and there that I was going to stick to my vow of not messing with the Christmas baking. At least until I have more time to experiment and perfect such a kind of baking. Extra time, is something that I just don’t have. Especially this time of year. Who does? I mean, it’s a huge feat that I’m even able to get any baking done at all. So.
On with a tried and true, highly favoured cookie that my mom always made, my granny always made and that I now always make come Christmas-time. BHG highly coveted Giant Ginger Cookie recipe. Except I change things up a bunch, so one could say this recipe has been adapted from that. So I will.
What You’ll Need (I quadrupled this batch, because I am crazy fool – you of course don’t have to do that unless you are a cookie gift-giver like me. One batch will yield you approximately 24, 4 inch cookies)
- 4 1/2cups all-purpose flour
- 5 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (I’m only going to get into a sort of big deal about shortening being processed hydrogenated oil, and lard (especially home-made) is natural. (Mostly mono-saturated). There are many debates amongst bakers about shortening vs. lard, butter vs. oil, butter vs. shortening etc. Me? I’m a devout butter baker and used to use a a small amount of lard with butter in cookie recipes to keep things chewy and tender. I’ve recently discovered that coconut oil renders the same highly sought after attributes and is way better for you!)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
- 2 brown eggs (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup finely chopped candied ginger
- 1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate chunks
- 3/4 cup coarse sugar or granulated sugar
How You Do
- Preheat over to 350 F. Line some cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside (if you are going to bake them straight away that is. This year I made them the night before and refrigerated over-night. Handles way better and they crackle up much nicer!)
- Get out your cutting board and a nice, sharp chopping knife. Get to it with the crystalized ginger rounds. Don’t be too finicky about it, they’ll melt a bit during baking and you are supposed to be able to detect their glorious presence in the cookies.
- In a medium mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil in a large bowl (or shortening, or lard – whatever you are using, heck – even all butter! Just make sure you are using butter! It’s simple – they will taste way better.) until well mixed and gradually beat in all of the sugars. Remember to swipe down the sides of your bowl occasionally with a bendy spatula. Beat in the molasses, eggs and crystalized ginger until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, as much as you can with the electric mixer. You might have to finish off mixing in the flour with a wooden spoon, as one does with baking. Toss in the dark chocolate chunks and mix them in with that wooden spoon. (Or your clean hands if you want to get it done faster).
- You can refrigerate the lot to bake the next day, or in a couple of days – or you can freeze for up to 3 months!
- Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop out cookie dough and roll in into little balls and toss them around in the granulated sugar. Place about 2 or 3 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 11 – 15 minutes, until they are golden brown and puffy. They will be very soft to the touch when hot – don’t worry, this is as things should be! If you over-bake, they won’t be chewy, which would be a travesty. Cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Store in air-tight containers to keep them nice and fresh until you are ready to package as gifts/eat/bring to party. You can also freeze these bad boys for up to 3 months, according to the BHG recipe. But I would never do that. Fresh, fresh, fresh. Yes please.
This recipe has been toddler approved.