Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Soft & Cakey Triple Ginger Cookies

These cookies are amazing! I couldn’t sleep last night as I had too many thoughts racing through my mind. During the night my mind wandered off to baking. As I was feeling restless it was warming, comforting food I was craving. By morning my mind was made up – gingerbread cookies. Not the crisp and crunchy kind, the soft, thick kind. Rich in spices, ginger and treacle.

I have a favourite soft ginger cookie recipe which I used to bake quite often, but I have not tried baking them since going gluten free. Some textures, soft and chewy in particular, are harder to achieve in a gluten free baked good, which often produce crisper and crumblier results, especially in cookies. This made me a little anxious to bake this recipe again, as I had such fond memories of it. My desire for gingerbread won over though and I set to work.

These cookies get their ginger flavour from a generous amount of ground ginger and also chopped crystallised ginger. I wanted an extra warming kick and so today I also added some chopped stem ginger (the kind that comes in syrup). Mixed spice and a sticky spoonful of black treacle are also added which lends a deep spicy aroma and flavour to the cookie. It’s also important to use granulated sugar, NOT caster sugar in the mix, as the larger granules produce a cookie with a slightly crackly texture and crunch which just makes them that little bit extra special.

I wanted thick cookies and so chilled the dough briefly before baking them. This worked well and helped ensure the middle stayed soft and tender while the outside became ever so slightly crisp. They smelt amazing while baking in the oven, warm and spicy, almost like Christmas cake!

Taking a bite, you first hit the crisp edge which yields to a soft, slightly chewy, thick cakey middle. The warming spices come through instantly, but not overpoweringly so. More a soothing, comforting warmth with little kicks of hot spicy ginger hitting your taste buds as you bite into a little nugget of chewy crystallised or stem ginger.

A subtle warming spiciness lingers on your tongue for several minutes even after you’ve finished it. Warm, soothing and comforting. Just breathing in their smell is enough to relax the mind and muscles. They are truly amazing cookies and just what I needed after a restless nights sleep.

Soft & Cakey Triple Ginger Cookies
240g gluten free plain flour (Doves Farm)
135g butter
180g granulated sugar (not caster)
1 egg
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
45g black treacle
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
30g crystallized ginger
30g stem ginger

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper (not silicone or else they spread too much) and set to one side. Line another smaller tray with clingfilm.
Make sure your butter is soft, add the sugar and cream together using an electric mixer until fluffy.
Beat in the egg and spices until well incorporated. Chop the crystallized ginger and stem ginger into small pieces and stir through the batter along with the black treacle.
Scatter the flour and baking powder over the batter and beat together until just combined.
Use an old fashioned ice cream scoop, or a tablespoon, to take equal amounts of the cookie batter and place onto the clingfilm lined baking tray (you can arrange them close together).
Place the cookie balls into the fridge to firm up for 30-40 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180C.
Arrange the chilled cookie balls onto the greaseproof paper lined baking tray, about 2inch/5cm apart. Press down on the tops gently to create a flat top, but you don’t want them to actually spread out at all.
Bake in the oven for 13 minutes until puffy and slightly crackled on top.
Allow to cool for 2 minutes before carefully transferring the cookies to a cooling rack – they will still be soft at this stage.
Repeat with the remaining cookie balls if required.
Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They go completely soft after the first day.
Makes 15 thick cookies


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I'll just bet these are wonderful with tea!! It's so cute that when you couldn't sleep, you thought of baking! :P

The Caked Crusader said...

Exactly my kind of biscuit. My favourite thing to do is take a bite of a ginger biscuit followed by a mouthful of tea - for some reason it seems to ignite the heat in the ginger and give a pleasing burn!

Caroline said...

They look fabulous! I love ginger and a thick cakey cookie sounds just perfect.