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Dec 15, 2012 07:49 PM

Does this recipe for ginger cookies look right?

I met a woman at a weekend workshop who made these ginger cookies and told me the recipe from memory. Making them tonight, they seem to be very low in flour and am wondering if I should add more. She did say she chills the dough and then forms small balls.


2 sticks butter, softened
1.5 cups light brown sugar
1 lg egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup candied ginger

Then add dry ingredients, already mixed in a small bowl:

1.5 cups flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground ginger

Bake at 350 till light brown.

Sound right to you? (I didn't have enough ginger, so can't bake tonight, but have everything mixed and ready.)

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  1. That's actually an old Gourmet Mag recipe with an extra 1/2 cup of sugar added to it. See here:

    So the flour is fine, but the extra sugar may make them chewier...and sweeter ;)

    11 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Wow, how did you figure that out so quickly? I'm impressed. Thanks for link--it's good to get all the details and I'm sure I'll get advice from the reviews.

      The lady who made the cookies is from Germany so I figured this was some recipe from "the old country." :-)

      1. re: Thanks4Food

        Sorry to shatter your fantasy about the origin of the recipe! I'm kinda known around here for my search powers, but I'll never divulge my secrets ;) I hope the cookies turn out well - they sound delicious. I'd personally spike them with a little allspice and sub molasses for part of the sugar to deepen the flavor...but that's just me.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Yeah, the molasses was missing for me from the recipe OP provided.

          Your search powers being what they are..awesome.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Hmm...I need some help: bought crystallized ginger at World Market and just made 4 experimental cookies. Since the dough was warmish, they spread like Florentines and looked almost burnt. But they actually tasted good--till you hit a piece of ginger, then it was way too strong. I remember that one of the negative reviews on the Gourmet site said it was like a butter cookie till you hit a lump of ginger--and that's pretty much how I think these are going to be.

        Before I'm thinking I wasted 2 sticks of butter (a tragedy), can you think how to salvage? (No molasses for us, though, as we're not fans.)

        I'm pretty sure now that the German lady must have used candied ginger, because there was more of a chewiness when you hit ginger. And she did tell me I needed to cut it up small. I wondered why I would have to cut up crystallized ginger as it's already pretty small.

        1. re: Thanks4Food

          Candied ginger & crystallized ginger are the same thing, but some brands/batches are spicier than others. You need to *mince* the ginger really finely into tiny bits - use a well-oiled knife or kitchen shears.

          The spreading was only partly due to the warm dough - if you used 1.5 cups of sugar instead of 1 cup, that was a factor as well. And you didn't grease the baking sheet, right? That will cause them to spread.

          If the batter is already made and there's no way to remove the ginger pieces, bake the cookies as-is and repurpose them. You can buzz them into crumbs and use as a pie crust or a topping/mix-in for yogurt or ice cream.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Would it help to add more flour to the dough?

            I used parchment paper.

            I might try to pick out any large pieces and chop more finely. Otherwise, my husband said he didn't mind them that much: the zing was just unexpectedly ... zingy.

            Oh hey: I did make "Frozen cranberry pie" and had a lot of filling leftover. I was going to make an Oreo cookie crust, but I could make a ginger-cookie crust as you suggest if the cookies don't work out.

            1. re: Thanks4Food

              Just a thought:
              i would experiment with buzzing the dough in small food processor batches BEFORE baking, to try to chop up those ginger pieces a bit more. Seems like a shame to have to "use up" all those yummy cookies.
              And I do think there is a difference in texture between dry sugar coated ginger and the stuff sold in syrup in jars. see, for example, Buderim stem ginger, the stuff used in Walker's (Incredibly Addictive) Stem Ginger Biscuits:
              The jarred kind is much more tender and subtly flavored. I think this may be what your recipe was calling for.
              Good luck.

              1. re: almond tree

                Thanks so much for that--I'm with you and really think the soft chewy ginger would have been a better idea. And it had briefly crossed my mind to process the dough but then forgot about it. I'll try that first.

                1. re: almond tree

                  Almond Tree, thanks for the tip: I processed the dough last night till all the ginger pieces were pulverized. I also added about 1/2 cup more flour to see if that would help with the spreading issue.

                  I decided to make logs of the dough and chill and treat them as refrigerator cookies. Just now made 6 experimental cookies: once again they spread and came out like Florentines--but they were fabulously buttery and gingery all at the same time. No surprising lumps of ginger. (Baked for only 7 min. at 350.)

                  So this isn't remotely like the little round balls with chewy ginger that I first had a couple weeks ago--but I think these are WAY better. And a bonus is that they're easier to make since from now on I'll make them in the food processor and then continue to prepare as refrigerator cookies.

                  P.S. In case anyone wants to try making them as I did: I added 1 tsp of ground ginger instead of 1/4 tsp. And then there was the accidental addition of an extra 1/2 cup of brown sugar (from the original recipe from Gourmet). I'll probably try them next time without and see how they come out.

                  1. re: Thanks4Food

                    Yay! So glad they were good.
                    Now you're inspiring me to try making some.
                    I love ginger -- so much so that I named my dog Gingerbread. (Of course he can also run like the little gingerbread man!)

                    1. re: almond tree

                      That's funny, I told my orange tabby last night that I was going to rename him Ginger. :-)