Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Search of the Perfect Cookie

I love ginger snaps.  I would have to rate them as a favourite, if not my favourite cookie.  Walker's makes these divine little shortbreads with real ginger stem... luscious little cookies.  And the only place I've ever found them is at the Porter airlines lounge in Toronto.  It's customary for us to grab 2 packs and put them in my purse to savour when we get home!  
I was at the bulk store Friday and I found candied ginger pieces for baking cookies! (Instead of the huge chunks my mum likes to eat just by themselves)  So online I went to find the perfect cookie recipe to replicate those delectable Walker's creations....
These are good, a little different, but my first crack at baking with candied ginger stem.

Ginger Stem Cookies
6 TBSP butter
6 TBSP brown sugar
6 TBSP honey
4 TBSP molasses 

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add brown sugar, honey and molasses.  Warm and combine until creamy consistency.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground ginger (more if you like even spicier cookies!)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup of candied or bottled ginger stem - very finely chopped to chocolate chip size chunks.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F / 300F convection.  Line your pans with parchment paper.  (Believe me, invest in a roll or sheets.  Your cookies will not come off the pan otherwise.)

Sift dry ingredients into the pot mixture.  If you find it a little too thin, add more flour 1/4 cup at a time.  The dough will not be dry like other ginger snaps, but more of a glossy, but not sticky, mixture.  If you want to transfer the pot mixture to a stand mixer, it'd be a great idea.  Use your bread hook.  Otherwise you may need a strong-armed man (or a cement mixer!!)  in the kitchen to incorporate all that flour in the pot. 

Add the candied ginger and work out the Popeye muscles at little more to incorporate it.

Roll into teaspoon size balls. This dough rolls beautifully and doesn't stick to your hands.  Careful if you're having the little ones help as this dough is warm.  Place well spaced on the parchment lined cookie pan and flatten slightly with the heel of you hand.  This dough works nicely while it is still warm.  When it cools it gets hard to handle.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes at 350F / 300F convection until golden brown.

The first time I bake a new cookie I do a test bake before I throw the whole lot onto the pan.

My first test cookies didn't have enough flour and were baked too hot.  They were flatter than pancakes and once they cooled, were hard enough to chip teeth.  

The next test came out soft, golden, chewy and approved by the hubby in the taste test.

I'm bringing some to mum's tomorrow for Family Day dinner and I hope the rest of the family enjoys them too!!

Oh, and if you mix it all in the pot, soak that pot right away once it is empty or you'll need a chisel!!

Note to self... These cookies are hard on the arm...  There is a lot of stirring to incorporate the flour.  Plus, I started with a double batch... Silly me!!  Just saying it out loud so anyone fancying to try them out is aware, yes, definitely use the stand mixer!

Sorry there's no pic of all the ingredients together.  Forgot to snap the photo before I got going.  

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! These look so good. I love cookies with ginger. My favorite snack on airlines is the biscotti cookies they offer on delta.