The Cookie Book

Rebecca Firth is a food writer, photographer and creator of the displacedhousewife.com. She just came out with a brand new cookbook, called “The Cookie Book.” She stopped by to make Burnt Sugar Ginger Cookies. For a link to Rebecca’s website, click here: To purchase a copy of The Cookie Book, click here. Reprinted with permission from The Cookie Book by Rebecca Firth, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Rebecca Firth. BURNT SUGAR GINGER COOKIES Ovenly has a recipe for burnt sugar which had me completely intrigued ever since I first laid eyes on it. I knew I wanted to mess around with it for a cookie, and I decided to create a super ginger-y cookie with it. But don’t be overwhelmed with the amount of ginger in here. I promise, it’s not too much. Unless, of course, you don’t like ginger in which case you probably shouldn’t be making this cookie. When making the burnt sugar, you aren’t actually burning it, just stirring until it liquefies and turns a deep amber. I’m already thinking of a million more ways to use it! MAKES 46 COOKIES BURNT SUGAR GINGER

  • 1 cup (192 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons (14 g) fresh ginger, finely grated

GINGER COOKIES

  • 16 tablespoons (230 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups (288 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (105 g) light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) unsulphured molasses
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 3 cups (408 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (204 g) bread flour
  • 3 teaspoons (8 g) ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons (13 g) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

COOKIE COATING

  • ½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar

To make the Burnt Sugar Ginger, spray a rimmed baking sheet heavily with nonstick spray and set aside. Add the sugar and ginger to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and use your fingers to massage the ginger into the sugar. Turn the heat to medium high and constantly stir until the sugar liquefies, turns golden brown and no sugar crystals remain. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread evenly until it’s about ¼ to ?inch (0.7 to 0.3 cm) thick. Set aside for 1 hour to cool and harden. Once cool, turn out onto a cutting board and cut into shards of 1 inch (2.5 cm) and smaller. Careful, they’re sharp. To make the cookie, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and cover several baking sheets with parchment paper. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix for 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add in the eggs, one at a time, taking care that each one is fully blended before adding in the next. Make sure to frequently scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl so that everything is well blended. Add in the molasses and fresh ginger and run the mixer on low for 1 minute more, or until everything is thoroughly combined. Take the bowl out of the mixer and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add this to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined and you still see streaks of flour. Add in the burnt sugar shards, stirring until evenly distributed throughout the dough. To make the cookie coating, place the sugar in a small, shallow bowl. Roll 2 tablespoons (28 g) of dough into a ball and then roll in the sugar to heavily coat. Place on the baking sheet leaving 2 inches (5 cm) between dough balls. Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 13 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. SPICED BROWN BUTTER MUSCOVADO SUGAR COOKIES I am head-over-heels excited to share this one with you because I’ve frankly never tasted anything like it, and that’s a good thing. I was completely inspired by the look of the stamped molasses cookies in the cookbook Sweet. I wanted to create a cookie with a wee different flavor profile and utilize cookie stamps, which are so pretty and gorgeous that I think we all need cookie stamps in our baking arsenal. Picture a sugar cookie made with brown butter and caramel-esque muscovado and loaded with holiday spices. We roll it out thick, stamp it like a boss and then drizzle with the simplest spiced maple glaze. The key to not losing the details of the stamp is giving this cookie ample freezer time and gently brushing off excess glaze. MAKES 24 COOKIES

  • 24 tablespoons (344 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (210 g) dark muscovado sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) real vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (408 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (136 g) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

To make the cookies, place the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, crank up the heat to medium high, stirring constantly. Small golden bits will start to settle on the bottom of the pan, and it will start to have a nutty aroma. This should take around 3 to 5 minutes. Once this happens, take the pan off of the heat and pour the butter into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Once cooled slightly, add the muscovado and granulated sugar and mix on medium until blended. The mixture will be thick. Add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to blend completely before adding in the next. Add in the vanilla and mix for 1 minute more. Be sure to break up any large muscovado lumps. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, sea salt and cardamom. Add this to the brown butter mixture and mix on low until the mixture comes together and is no longer crumbs. Separate into two equal halves and pat each mound of dough into a disc. Typically sugar cookie dough needs a light hand. Not this dough. You’ll need to almost knead it to get it to adhere together. Press any cracks or fissures together. Place a dough disc between two layers of parchment paper. If you have a silicone baking mat, place it underneath the parchment to keep it from sliding on the counter. Roll the dough to ½-inch (1.3-cm) thickness. Pull the dough with the parchment onto a baking sheet and chill in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes or in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes, max. The dough should chill quickly. If at any point the dough starts sticking to the floured cookie stamps, put it back in the freezer for 5 minutes or in the fridge for 10 minutes. Conversely, if it’s too chilled, let it come closer to room temperature to stamp, or it will be too hard. MAPLE GLAZE

  • 2 cups (260 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) real maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract, optional
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) milk, or more to thin

Cover several baking sheets with parchment paper. If using cookie stamps, dip the cookie stamps in some flour and dust off the excess. Evenly press the cookie stamp onto the dough, making sure to press firmly to get the detailed imprint, and then use a fluted, round cutter to cut the cookie from the dough. Grab a spatula to move the cut-out cookie to your prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and make sure a rack is in the top third of the oven at least 6 inches (15 cm) from the heat source. Place the cookies in the freezer for 30 minutes and then take them directly from the freezer to the top rack of the oven and bake for 9 minutes. It’s crucial not to overbake these. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, maple extract, if using, and milk until you have a thin glaze. Place a baking sheet underneath the cooling rack. Dip the cooled cookies into the glaze, letting the excess drip back into the bowl…you want the glaze to be thin enough that you can see the detail from the cookie stamps. Set the cookies back on the cooling rack to dry completely and serve! TIP I used a 2½-inch (6.3-cm) cookie stamp for these. If you don’t have any cookie stamps, these are definitely still worth making using just a round cookie cutter.

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