Dec 21, 2012

December Cookie of the Month: Gingerbread!

I'm in love with this simple, delicious gingerbread cookie recipe that made our whole house smell like Christmas: Big Soft Ginger Cookies via Ben has really been talking up his love for gingerbread cookies this holiday season (I never knew this about him!), so I decided to take a stab at the beloved classic.

I consulted my 'Joy of Cooking,' then did a quick google search, and decided to try this recipe out based on the rave reviews. My goal? To end up with chewy, soft ginger-y cookies. The verdict? This recipe's a winner! Some cookies are all about texture, and this recipe nailed it - a little crunch on the outside, a little bounce on the inside. These tasty delights had just the right kick of spice, too - you could taste the ginger, but it wasn't too strong to keep Max from repeatedly stealing them off the counter!

Max was my ever helpful assistant. He's awesome at stacking measuring cups, dumping ingredients into the bowl and inspecting my mixtures. Stirring is another of his specialties, along with banging forks on the counter like a super professional hibachi chef. Do I have a future gourmet chef on my hands? Perhaps.

I won't even pretend to offer any insight into why these came out so perfectly - all I did was follow the recipe exactly (my only alteration was swapping in Earth Balance non-dairy spread instead of margarine, since this pregnancy has left me sadly lactose intolerant).

Here are the only real tidbits I can offer you...

{1} Per some recipe reviews, I pressed my cookies to about 1/2" thick and they baked up to the perfect size. I cooked them for exactly eight minutes. No more, no less. And I left them to cool on the pan for five minutes before moving to a cooling rack (although every fiber of my being was screaming that I should immediately eat them).

{2} I baked half the dough immediately and half after two days in the fridge - my fresh dough actually came out a little better as far as texture was concerned. Maybe I should have let the refrigerated dough warm up to room temperature for the best results.

{3} Several reviewers suggested substituting the water with orange juice. I meant to try this and forgot, darn! But I bet it would be a tasty little switcheroo. Let me know if you try it!

Anyway, just go check out this recipe, you won't be disappointed!

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