Grub O.N.: Ginger cookies by Jody London
on October 23, 2009
This is the first in an occasional series Oakland North will be running on favorite local recipes. This one is from Jody London, the School Board member responsible for North Oakland (also known as District 1). She brought these cookies to a town hall meeting with Tony Smith held at International High. She had planned, she said, to bring goodies from Bakesale Betty’s, but it was closed that week for remodeling. Instead, attendants happily munched on the brownies and ginger cookies that London baked for the event.
Jody’s Ginger Cookies
Preparation time: 1 hour; plus 6 hours to chill dough
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yields 36 cookies
“This recipe was given to me by my dear friend Doug Harkness, who I know from the Cloyne Court housing co-op in Berkeley. I believe it is originally from the Silver Palate Cookbook. I had always loved those cookies you can get at some coffee shops or bakeries that are full of ginger and molasses and have the sugar on the outside – so delicious! It was amazing to realize that I can make them myself. I first tasted these cookies at Doug’s house in Seattle and I immediately needed to have it. I think I am the biggest fan of these cookies in my family, which is surprising because I usually prefer chocolate. But something about these – the texture (crisp outside, soft inside) the mix of flavors, that lovely light crust of sugar – just really appeals to me. I often make these cookies as an alternative to chocolate. And they are easy to make because you prepare the dough ahead and refrigerate it, so you can break the task into smaller pieces. (I also really like the brownie recipe I used last week. I found that on the King Arthur flour bag! You never know…)”
**The recipe notes that it is critical to NOT omit the step of refrigerating the dough. This really makes a difference.**
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and molasses.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, backing soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture and the crystallized ginger to the butter mixture, stirring until it forms a dough.
**Prepare to this point at least 6 hours ahead and up to 1 day in advance (I often do it a few days in advance and it comes out fine.) Refrigerate until ready to bake.**
- Preheat the over to 375°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with butter.
- Roll a tablespoon of cold dough quickly in your hands to form a ball. Roll the Balls in the granulated sugar to coat them. Place 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Do not crowd as the dough will spread.
- Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 9 or 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Serve at room temperature.
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