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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pain d'Epices Gingerbread Cookies

My gingerbread urges are flaring up again, and now I can satisfy them... At Last.
These are normally holiday cookies in the US, but I do what I want when I want and nobody's going to stop me as long as I can find the right molasses.  I searched all over France for this incredibly strong naturally licorice and caramel flavored unrefined sugarcane byproduct only to realize it has been available at my closest organic market within walking distance from my place.  I remember always having it on hand growing up but I don't ever remember cooking with it before.  Hmm I wonder if my mother still has that same jar in her cupboard from when I was a minime...
Yields 44 cookies
2 1/4 cups flour (280g)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp épices pour Pain d'Epices (optional, but incredibly sexy)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar (200g)
1/4 cup softened butter (60g)
1/3 cup molasses (113g)
1 large egg
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
some granulated sugar for baking
1.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, powdered spices and salt.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy with a whip.  Get rid of the whip and use a wooden spoon.  Add the molasses and mix together until even.  That is some potent sticky stuff! Oooh!
3.  Add the egg and mix until even.  Add the fresh ginger and keep mixing.  If your arm hurts now, too bad, this is the easy part.
4.  Pour in the dry mixture a little at a time while continuing to mix until it is fully incorporated.  Your arm should hurt now.  You are strong, keep going, you should be proud.
5.  Refridgerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes.  The dough will be easier to work with when cold.  It will harden and be less sticky on your hands.  Mine hardened so much that I broke my wooden spoon I had left in the mixing bowl.  Grrr
When you're ready to roll, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
6.  Make cookies with 1 tbsp of dough rolled between your hands, then pressed into a round 1.5-2in diameter cookies.  Press both sides in a plate of granulated sugar then place on the cookie sheet.
7.  Bake for 10-12 minutes then let cool on a wire rack.  10 minutes for chewy cookies.  12 minutes for crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside.

Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, a nice ginger flavor to stimulate your senses.
It's like a festival in my mouth.
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