January 12, 2006

Lemon Ginger Cookies

These cookies are much like sugar cookies, but a bit cakier due to the chemical leavening. Lemon and ginger are a refreshing combination.

Lemon Ginger Cookies
from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling
1 TBSP grated lemon zest
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger

Sift together flour and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the 3/4 cup sugar, lemon zest, ginger and salt. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

Add the egg and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until all the dry ingredients are incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until just incorporated.

Remove small handfuls of the dough from the mixer and plop down the middle of a sheet of parchment paper, creating a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Fold the parchment over creating a sausage. Chill for at least 1 hour. At this point, the dough will keep nicely, tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month. (Thaw frozen dough at room temperature for 30 minutes.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

When the dough has chilled, remove it from the parchment, pour the remaining 1/4 cup sugar onto the work surface, and roll the log in the sugar. Using a chef's knife, slice 1/3 inch thick rounds off the log. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown around the edges, turing the cookie sheet once halfway through the baking. Remove from the oven and carefully slide the parchment directly onto a work surface. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 30 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Notes: For the amount of steps involved, though none of them are individually difficult, I was hoping to get a cookie that was more of an eye-opener. However, the flavors here didn't quite stand out the way I'd hoped. And, even though this cookbook is an award-winning cookbook, I didn't find the recipe particularly readable. I also had some trouble cutting the dough once it was cold and lost several cookies that way before even baking them. In fact, at the moment, I think I'm far fonder of drop cookies...

Posted by Jennifer at January 12, 2006 8:58 PM | TrackBack

These seemed to actually become more tasty after they sat in their container for a couple of days, but I'd still agree that they aren't worth the effort required. Maybe if the lemon flavors had been stronger (or even noticable), then the overall taste would have been more appealing.

Posted by: Michael at January 21, 2006 8:40 PM

I think the ginger outweighs the lemon in this recipe- Maybe if you use a teaspoon of Lemon extract to make up for the teaspoon of ground ginger? For me the lemon and the ginger need to be equal.

Posted by: Elisha at August 29, 2006 5:31 PM
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