One of my favorite summertime flavor combinations is lemon and ginger (well, anytime combinations really). Lemon cheesecake with a ginger crust. Gingerbread cake and lemon curd. And lemonade with gingersnaps.
I had a hankering for the fresh and tangy combo again last week and made up some ginger cookies - not gingersnaps though. These are really, really zingy Triple Ginger Cookies. So zingy that instead of using a typical "rounded spoonful" of dough, these are only 1/2 a tablespoon worth each. Pretty much the size of a quarter.
2 cups spelt flour OR whole wheat pastry flour (I used whole wheat)Preheat the oven to 350F degree. Line a couple baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat mat (I used a knock-off version of a Silpat from Crate and Barrel), place the extra sugar in a small bowl, and set aside.
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon star anise, finely ground
4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2/3 cup fine grain natural cane sugar, sifted (I used Xylitol)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 large egg, well beaten
1 cup crystallized ginger, then finely minced
2 lemons, zest only (I used orange zest)
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, star anise, ground ginger, and salt.
Heat the butter in a skillet until it is just barely melted. Stir in the molasses, natural cane sugar, and fresh ginger. The mixture should be warm, but not hot at this point, if it is hot to touch let it cool a bit. Whisk in the egg. Now pour this over the flour mixture, add the crystallized ginger (make sure it isn't too clumpy), and lemon zest. Stir until just combined.
I like these cookies tiny, barely bite-sized, so I scoop out the dough in exact, level tablespoons. I then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 tablespoon of dough into a ball shape. From there, grab a small handful of the big sugar you set aside earlier and roll each ball between your palms to heavily coat the outside of each dough ball. Place dough a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cookies puff up, darken a bit, get fragrant and crack.
Makes about 4 dozen or so.