Orange and ginger are quite complementary – a combination of tart, spicy and sweet, which is quite lovely. They’re really easy to make, since they are log cookies an you refrigerate them and then slice them
Orange Ginger Rounds
1 1/4 c whole blanched almonds
1 c confectioners’ sugar
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tbs finely grated orange zest (2 to 3 oranges)
1 large egg
1 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
6 oz. crystallized ginger, finely chopped (about 1 c)
1. Place almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, and set aside.
2. Place butter and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until white and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. On low speed, add the almond mixture, and beat until combined, 10 to 15 seconds. Add egg and lemon juice, and combine. Add flour, and beat until combined. Wrap in plastic; store, refrigerated, up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months.
3. Place two 12-by-16-inch pieces of parchment on a work surface. Divide dough in half; form each half into a rough log on parchment. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press dough into a 1 1/2-inch cylinder. Wrap. Chill at least 3 hours.
4. Heat oven to 350oF. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Spread crystallized ginger on a work surface. Unwrap logs; roll in ginger to coat. Cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; place on sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake until edges turn slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
Makes about 5 dozen, depending on size
I suppose any form of cookie with both ginger and molasses could be considered a gingerbread type cookie but, you know, it’s weird to have identically named entries. These are big and chewy and really lovely.
3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup molasses (not robust)
2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350oF. Line 2 rimless baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until smooth.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Add the dry ingredient to the low ingredient and mix until blended.
4. Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are browned and firm to the touch. Let cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 40 cookies
It wouldn’t be winter without some gingerbread. This is the same recipe that my mother, sister and I have been using to make gingerbread houses every December for many years. Since it is intended for house-making, should you be making the cookies for personal consumption, you could easily halve the recipe.
2 c (4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 c unsulfured molasses
4 tbs vinegar
10 c sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1. Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs, molasses, and vinegar.
2. Sift dry ingredients and blend in. Chill at least 3 hours.
3. Roll dough on lightly floured surface until 1/8 in. thick. Cut in shapes and bake in 375oF oven on lightly greased cookie sheets 5 to 6 minutes.
4. Cool and remove from pan. Let stand overnight to dry.
Makes a lot, a lot, a lot!
TO DECORATE: Mix one egg white with about 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar (and maybe a bit of meringue powder, if you happen to have it) and 1/4 cup of water until it forms a thick paste. Transfer to a plastic bag with a very small hole cut in one of the corners or a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe designs on and let dry.