It’s hard not to love ginger cookies, no matter what time of year. The same goes for Deb Perelmen, whose big, chewy ginger cookie recipe is one of the best we’ve ever tried. We left it to Deb, who has just launched a new cookbook, to tell us about why this cookie recipe needs to be baked on repeat all year.
“These cookies are my winter obsession. I had been on the hunt for a thick, soft-but-not-too cakey, deeply spiced, and a little kicky dark-molasses cookie for as long as I could remember. I tried dozens over the years, but none were exactly right. Over the pandemic winter that left us devoid of parties and all the usual holiday cheer, I decided that I would at least get this one perfect. (I also ran my local store out of molasses and ground ginger, and begged my friends to swing by so I could fling samples off the balcony down to them – don’t worry, we’re not high up –because we were, at one point, blockaded by cookies.) Do you know what it’s like for your apartment to smell like a gingerbread house blew up in it every day for the whole month of December? It was, despite the larger circumstances, a very good time, and at the end, I had these: my forever molasses cookies, and soon, perhaps, yours, too.”
Chewy Ginger Cookies
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted, cooled slightly
- ½ cup molasses (see note)
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons granulated or turbinado sugar for rolling
- Heat the oven to 350°f . Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, spices, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl until fully mixed. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the melted butter, molasses, brown sugar, yolk, and candied ginger. Whisk these together in the center a couple times (until the egg yolk is dispersed); then switch to a spoon or rubber spatula to continue mixing. The dough will be very thick!
- Scoop the dough into balls (you can use a medium cookie scoop (1½ tablespoons) or take just shy of 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Roll each in your hands briefly to shape it into a ball, then roll balls in the granulated or turbinado sugar for coating.
- Space the cookies evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until top is slightly firm to the touch, about bake 10 to 12 minutes.
- Let cookies cool for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. The cookies will set as they cool.
Baking tip:To make the perfect soft and chewy ginger cookie, you want what looks like a quite underbaked cookie. The cookie will look totally soft on top (you may think it's raw), but if you lift a cookie and see that the bottom is one shade darker than the rest of the cookie, you'll know that they're done. Baking tip: You can use either unsulphured or blackstrap molasses here; I’ve tested it with both. If you can’t get molasses where you are, use treacle.
Make-ahead and storing:You can make dough one week ahead and keep refrigerated in airtight container. Remove an hour before baking. Baked cookies will last for two weeks in a sealed container.