These Chewy Gingerbread Cookies have a delightfully complex flavor because of the use of both fresh and ground ginger, and a touch of sophistication, thanks to the zesty lemon glaze. It’s an easy, irresistible holiday treat!
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Growing up, my grandmother would bake hundreds of molasses cookies for the holidays. She had a large family, and most of her kids had several kids of their own, too, so she had an impressive crowd to feed come Christmas time. Watching her roll out so many of those comforting cookies had a hypnotic effect on me, and I always stood close for the chance to snatch raw cookie dough. Those cookies–they were just as good raw as they were baked!
I rarely bake with molasses, but when I do, it reminds me of my grandma. It’s such a nostalgic ingredient to me! The aroma of it alone brings me back to rowdy Christmas Eves spent playing and laughing with my cousins. I was never able to reproduce my grandma’s molasses cookies because she baked them without a recipe, and she left us before we perfected the transcription of her vocal instructions. I see these chewy gingerbread cookies as my own version of my grandma’s cookies: the use of freshly grated ginger adds a real complex kick to the treat, and the zesty lemon glaze adds a touch of sophistication. These chewy gingerbread cookies are sturdy enough to ship to loved ones, so consider making a double batch, and you’ll make a lot of people happy!
These Chewy Gingerbread Cookies have a delightfully complex flavor because of the use of both fresh and ground ginger, and a touch of sophistication, thanks to the zesty lemon glaze. It's an easy, irresistible holiday treat!
Prep Time:25 minutesmins
Cook Time:12 minutesmins
Total Time:37 minutesmins
Author Marie Asselin, FoodNouveau.com
For the cookies
1/2cup125 ml unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4cup60 ml olive oil
1/4cup60 ml dark molasses
1cup250 ml brown sugar, packed
2-inch5 cm knob of fresh ginger, finely grated or juiced
2 1/4cup560 ml flour
1/2tsp2.5 ml salt
2tbsp10 ml baking soda
1tsp5 ml powdered ginger
1tsp5 ml cinnamon
1/8tsppinch freshly ground black pepper
1/2cup125 ml granulated sugar, for rolling
For the Lemon Glaze
2tbsp30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
3tbsp45 ml granulated sugar
1/2cup125 ml powdered sugar
Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, beat the butter with the olive oil, molasses, and brown sugar. When it is fluffy and light, add the egg and beat until smooth. Mix in the grated ginger and its juice.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and black pepper together. Add to the butter mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. The dough will be quite soft. Put the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. (This dough can also be wrapped and frozen. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.)
Pour about 1/2 cup (125 ml) the granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. When the dough is stiff enough to handle, separate it roughly into four parts. Divide the first part into 12 walnut-sized chunks, and roll each into a ball. Roll one ball of dough lightly in the sugar, then transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat to roll a total of 24 cookies, placing 12 cookies per sheet.
Bake the first two sheets of cookies for 12 minutes, swapping each baking sheet from the upper to lower rack (and vice versa) at the 6-minute mark. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies with a spatula to cooling racks.
Repeat with remaining dough. While the remainder of the cookies cool, make the glaze by whisking the lemon juice together with the granulated and powdered sugars. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies or paint it on with a pastry brush. Let the glaze dry and cool on the cookies until hard. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to two months.
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I love the idea of a lemon glaze on gingerbread — I can almost taste that combination. I used to go to a cookie-baking party where we would gather to bake and swap our favorite cookies. This recipe makes me want to start the tradition again!