Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies are loaded with warm spice and coated in crunchy raw sugar for crinkly, sparkly cookies that are as pretty as they are delicious!
Three cheers for holiday baking! Who’s with me? It’s time to think Christmas cookies, my friends, and I’ve got a soft, chewy ginger delight to add to your platter this December.
Gingerbread men and gingersnaps seems to get all of the attention this time of year, but I would argue that Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies are where it’s at! After all, these little beauts are bursting with warm spice, as well as a generous pouring of molasses to prevent them from drying out. They’re deceptively humble for being so darn delicious.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re plain or boring! On the contrary, they boast both flavor and texture. Since I’m all about texture, I decided to experiment with the type of sugar I used to coat them. As their name implies, the interiors of these cookies are simultaneously soft and (you guessed it!) chewy. But before they go in the oven, they’re rolled in a generous coating of sugar, so I was determined to determine (heh) the best type of sugar for this job.
And the contenders were…
Sparkling sugar. Turbinado sugar (AKA, raw sugar). And regular ol’ granulated sugar.
Just do me a favor and pretend you’re reading that from right to left like my corresponding photo below… 😉
I wish I’d taken a shot of the raw cookie dough balls rolled in the various sugars, because they looked quite distinct. The sparkling sugar ginger cookies were coated in bright white crystals, the turbinado sugar ginger cookies looked more earthy, with brown-hued sugar crystals, and the granulated sugar ginger cookies looked as one would expect, their fine white coating shimmering.
Once they were baked, however, the sparkling sugar and turbinado sugar cookies were pretty much indistinguishable from one another, in both looks and flavor. However, they were noticeably different from the granulated sugar-coated cookies. The larger sugar crystals gave the Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies a delightfully crunchy exterior, which I happened to love.
So the moral of the story? If you want cookies that are soft through and though, from the outside in, roll them in granulated sugar. If you want cookies that are crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, roll them in either sparkling or turbinado sugar. Since I could hardly tell which was which after the cookies were baked, I would probably opt for turbinado sugar in the future since it’s all-natural. But it’s up to you! Go with whichever you prefer or whatever you already have on hand.
One other important note about this recipe is that chilling the dough makes a big difference. The dough is initially very sticky, so it needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before rolling the cookies in the sugar…or else you’ll end up with a big, gluey mess. Once in the oven, the cookies will spread, so to prevent them from spreading too much, I recommend popping the pan of sugar-rolled cookie dough balls into the freezer for 5 minutes before baking. That’s right…you’re going to be double chilling these babies, and it’s the key to preventing overly thin cookies.
As far as bake time, after considerably testing I came to the conclusion that these cookies should not be underbaked. Don’t get me wrong…most of the time, I’m a fan of the slightly underbaked cookie. But these ginger cookies actually turned out better when they were allowed to slightly darken around the edges with a few crinkles popping up in the middle. The cookies that I underbaked never got very crinkly at all and, while they were soft, they lacked that toothsome chewy texture. So it’s going to vary by oven, but for not-underbaked-cookies, mine needed to bake towards the longer end of the suggested baking time rather than the shorter.
They may not be the flashiest option on the holiday cookie platter, but once somebody ventures to sample one, these Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies are sure to be amongst the first to disappear! They’re fun to make with the kids (let ’em do the sugar rolling!), popular at any party or gathering, and perfect for packaging up as a made-with-love-from-my-kitchen-to-yours gift. Just one warning, though…make them once and you just might be adding them to your annual baking list for eternity. 😉
Adapted from AllRecipes
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