I don’t make cookies a lot, mostly because in the past I haven’t had a lot of luck with them. For some reason I found it very difficult to tell when a cookie was done or not, and I leaned on the side of overdone rather than underdone. While a slightly underdone cookie may still be delicious, a slightly overdone one? Not so much. I’ve gotten better at baking cookies from doing it more and making really big, soft cookies.
I love ginger in just about everything, and I love that it’s super healthy too. Ginger cookies are some of my favorites, but it’s hard to find good soft and chewy ginger cookies. Most are ginger snaps, which are certainly good if you’re in the mood for them, but there’s something about a really soft, dense, spicy ginger cookie. These certainly fit the bill.
They are a different kind of cookie, as they rely on vegetable oil as fat rather than butter. I can’t remember the last time I made a cookie or even ate a cookie with vegetable oil, but I really like the idea of relying on lighter fats than butter in any baked good, so I was happy to give this recipe a try. The end product is very different from cookies with butter. It’s not necessarily better or worse, just very different in texture and even flavor.
Since they are ginger cookies, I doubled the amount of ground ginger. I used a little less crystallized ginger (1 cup compared with 1 ¼ cups) than the recipe calls for because I thought it seemed like a lot, but I definitely think the recipe could take more crystallized ginger as this was the best part of the cookie. It stayed in pieces, but took on a soft texture that melded perfectly with the rest of the cookie, adding just a hint of spice in each bite it inhabited. Crystallized ginger is another tough to find ingredient. I absolutely love the Crystallized Ginger Medallions from the Ginger People. The flavor is unparalleled and the quality fantastic.
The recipe called for one extra large egg. However, because I only use Davidson Pasteurized Eggs in my baked goods and they only have large eggs, I put in one large egg, though I thought about adding an additional one. This resulted in a dough that was very crumbly and would not come together. I added that second egg, and the problem was solved.
The cookies have a firm, never crunchy, exterior and a dense, deeply colored, almost cakey interior. The different kind of exterior, not one I find in many, if any, cookies, can probably be attributed to the use of oil instead of butter. The flavor of the cookies is great, but in some bites, particularly those without the crystallized ginger bits, the molasses flavor completely overwhelms the flavor of the spices. This doesn’t make them bad cookies, not by a long shot, but it makes them a bit more of a molasses cookie than a ginger cookie, and I don’t think upping the spices any more would change that. This may also be due to the lack of butter which would have imparted its sweet flavor, whereas vegetable oil really doesn’t have much of a flavor at all.
These are great and unique cookies that are quick and easy to make, no mixers or refrigeration of dough necessary. Give them a try the next time you have a craving for cookies that are just a little different from typical ones. Cookie baking success is also easy to achieve with these nearly foolproof treats.
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup unsulfured molasses
- 2 large eggs (pasteurized if you like)
- 1 cup crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces
- Granulated sugar for rolling cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In a large bowl mix together brown sugar, oil, and molasses until well combined. Add the eggs, and mix until fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet while stirring. Mix until a homogeneous dough is formed. Add the crystallized ginger and mix to combine.
- Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop the dough into 12 balls and roll them in the granulated sugar until fully coated. Place the cookies on the sheets, 6 per sheet, 3 rows of two. Bake for about 13 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary. When fully baked, the cookies will be cracked on top, but still soft to the touch. Allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheets.
- They may be stored at room temperature up to 5 days in an airtight container or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or warm briefly, 5 to 10 minutes, checking frequently, in a 350 degree F oven for that freshly baked cookie taste.