Friday, February 19, 2010
I am a lover of crystallized ginger. I slice it and put it in a cup of hot chamomile tea with a bit of honey. Native to Asia, ginger has been highly valued around the world as a cooking spice, dating back 4,400 years, my use of it...not quite so long. Culinary uses aside, ginger’s medicinal properties are prescribed to aid digestion, alleviate nausea, diarrhea, as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis, heart conditions, cold and flu symptoms, headaches, and even painful menstrual periods. Wow! I present you with medicine disguised as a cookie, how much better can it get? Serve 'em up!
This is Ina Garten’s recipe, you may know her as the “Barefoot Contessa”. Great for a winter day, this is a chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside, very spicy cookie. For the flour component, I replaced half of the quantity with wheat flour. You can find crystallized ginger at Whole Foods in the bulk or specialty section. If for some reason you can’t get the crystallized ginger, just use fresh ginger root, sliced thinly. Don’t forget to try what you have left over in your cup of chamomile tea-great for sleepless nights! Let the tea steep for a good 5 minutes to create the full insomniac's dose.
Oh, as usual, keep on eye on the cooking time, don’t overcook them.
Enjoy and remember: the calories make a fair exchange for the health benefits!
ULTIMATE GINGER COOKIE-INA GARTEN'S
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.
Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Thank you Ina!