Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ginger cookies

My very favorite ginger cookies are Trader Joes Triple Ginger Cookies. I like them because they are very small and loaded with ginger flavor. I like to trick myself with small cookies. Because they are small, I can eat, say, 20 of them. They are small, right? A container of Triple Ginger Cookies is devoured pretty quickly in my household. Unfortunately, I eat most of them.
Maida's favorite ginger cookies -- the ones that she and her mother used to make all the time and send home with all of the people who came through their house when she was growing up -- are very much like TJ's Triple Ginger Cookies. Except they are quite large. Extraordinarily large. So large, that I could only eat TWO at one sitting (really, two is too many).
I had high hopes of making these cookies for our GS camping trip, so we would have cookies and Big Daddy's Cake. The problem with these cookies is that the dough is very difficult to work with. It is easy to make (except for the tedious task of dicing the candied ginger). I find that with candied ginger, I always end up with less than I am supposed to have, because Maddy and I keep eating it while I'm cutting it up. I was worried when I finished dicing my 5 ounces of candied ginger that I had only really diced about 3 ounces and the cookies were not going to be gingery enough. This was not a legitimate concern.
The problem is that this dough is VERY soft. Even though I refrigerated the dough overnight, as Maida strongly recommended, the dough was extremely soft the next morning, and I really didn't feel like fooling around with it while I should be packing for a camping trip. So I left it to chill for another few days.
Once you pull the dough out of the refrigerator, you have to work very quickly to roll and cut the dough. And use lots of flour. You do not have time to go find your cookie cutters once the dough is rolled out. I used my huge Roul Pat for rolling this out, and still believe this is the best investment in cooking ever. I used a drinking glass to cut the cookies, and was tempted to crowed them onto the cookie sheet, but yielded to Maida's warning about how the cookies spread.
Man do they ever. The 3 inches cookies I cut with the glass ended up being 5 inch cookies. They are very flat, and crisp and perfect looking. And perfect tasting. Really, one cookie is enough. Pete says that half a cookie is enough. This would be my favorite cookie recipe too, if it were not for the fact that it is so difficult to roll out, and that TJ's Triple Gingers taste so similar.
And now I've made two of the 3 ginger cookies. These were my favorite so far.


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  2. If I hadn't given up sweets for Lent, I would be off to TJ's!