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Soft and Chewy Ginger Spice Cookies

A few months ago, I signed up to be a part of this:


The premise was simple. Bake 3 dozen cookies then mail a dozen cookies each to 3 different food bloggers. In return, receive 3 dozen unique cookies in the mail from other food bloggers. I didn’t waste any time signing up for this deal! After all, I love to bake cookies. I love to eat cookies. And I love, love, LOVE getting packages in the mail!
Turns out, that “great” cookie swap turned into one mega huge cookie swap! Over 22,000 cookies traveled throughout the world for this little (BIG!) swap. How cool is that?
Here’s how the cookie swap went in my little corner of the world:
1.  Drive myself crazy trying to pick a recipe. Should it be chocolate? Minty? A salty/sweet combo? Which one will stay soft? Which one will ship well? Believe me, it’s harder than it sounds.
2. Choose a recipe. Make a batch. Then decide it’s delicious, but not THE ONE.
3. Receive cookies in the mail from two other food bloggers. Squeal a little bit about getting a package in the mail. Eat delicious cookies. Panic because I still haven’t even decided what I’m going to make.
4. Settle on chewy ginger cookies. Make ginger cookies. Eat LOTS AND LOTS of ginger cookies. Get the “cookie swap worthy” approval from the Mr. Eat more cookies, just to be sure.
5. Layer cookies in containers, tie with ribbon, scramble to find a box to put them in, then rush to the post office just before they close.
6. Cross my fingers and say a prayer those humble little cookies make it to their destination safe, chewy, and just as delicious as the moment they came out of the oven.
The whole thing was a wonderful adventure and I’m so glad I was able to participate. I’m also delighted to still be munching on some delicious cookies from The Rauber House, The Vegetable Life, and Radish Radish. Head on over to their blogs to get the recipes!
Since I’ve already spent so long talking about the swap, I’ll keep the description of these cookies to the bare minimum.
Spicy cloves and ginger. Rich molasses. Chewy centers. Softness that lasts for daaaays. In a word, AMAZING. Make some cookies, tie them up in a pretty package, and share with friends near and far. I promise you’ll have fun.

Soft and Chewy Ginger Spice Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Recipe by

4 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 scant teaspoon ground cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons apple cider (orange juice would also be delicious is you can’t get your hands on cider)
1/2 cup molasses

1. In a large bowl sift or whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in cider or orange juice and molasses until combined.
3. With the mixer on stir speed, gradually begin to add flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat on the lowest setting until just combined and no flour spots remain.
4. Place dough in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. When a half hour remains, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Once chilled, roll into walnut sized balls and drop  2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. The dough will probably still be fairly sticky. If you’re having trouble rolling the dough, coat your hands with sugar or drop balls of dough into a bowl of sugar to prevent sticking. Press down balls of dough slightly.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cookies are no longer shiny in the center. Let the cookies cool for 4-5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cook completely. The cookies will maintain their chewiness stored in an airtight container at room temperature for over a week.

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