Spiced Gingerbread Cookies

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The other day I was on a flight to the east coast and not feeling too hot. I rarely get motion sickness but desperate times call for…ginger ale. Maybe I was just undercover-craving soda or perhaps I was indeed,actually queasy, but I downed a whole (super cold) can before the woman next to me could get in another snore.

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Mid-chug and fanning myself with a barf bag, I glanced at the nutrition label- much to my regretI mean, I’m *almost* a Registered Dietitian so I know it’s not made of kale and kombucha, but what I saw (or didn’t see) threw me for a tailspin.

“Carbonated water, sugar, flavoring extract, citric acid, color.”

That’s it. 

Ummm….where is the uhhh……ginger?

Not present? *rolls eyes*

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My mind raced as I thought back to all of the times I drank ginger ale thinking it would alleviate my stomach issues. What a waste. So when I decided to make gingerbread cookies this year (…because Christmas) I made it my mission to put tons of REAL GINGER in there. Wow, what a concept. Maybe the beverage industry should follow my lead.

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These are the perfect cookies to bring to a holiday party, that is, if you feel like sharing the fruits  carbs of your labor. The dough is chilled overnight and rolls out perfectly the next day, no sticky mess in sight. They’re sweet, gently chewy but still crispy around the edges, a beautiful classic brown color, and brimming with tons of spicy flavorful ginger. If ya got cute cookie cutters, there’s just no excuse not to make these babes. Plus, you can’t beat ginger’s incredibly impressive list of health benefits: it’s an effective anti-nausea aid, gastrointestinal distress treatment, and powerful anti-inflammatory.

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I obviously lack gingerbread men cookie cutters; the only cookie cutter I could scrounge up was in the shape of a heart and is supposed to be for frying eggs. Guess I know what I’m adding to my Christmas list this year….a flask. Just kidding. Some more cookie cutters, guys. Maybe also a flask to bring along to the holiday party when all they’re serving is cheap, shitty Chardonnay.

Cheers.

Spiced Gingerbread Cookies

Makes: ~2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1″ piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced very finely

Directions:

  1. In a large mixer, cream the butter until whipped. Add in molasses and brown sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Add in vanilla and egg and beat for another 2 minutes.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until just combined and a sticky dough forms. Then stir in the minced ginger until combined. Divide dough into two halves and wrap each into a ball then cover with plastic wrap. Use your hands to smash each dough ball into a flat disc and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I prefer overnight). Don’t skip the chillin’…it’s necessary.
  4. When your dough is done chilling, preheat oven to 350 F.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out each dough ball about 1/4″ inch thick and keep sprinkling with flour to avoid getting the dough stuck to the rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter, create a bunch of whatever shape of cookie you want. Mine were hearts…but if I had an ugly sweater cookie cutter you bet your ass that’s what I’d be bakin.’
  6. Place cookies on 2-3 parchment lined baking sheets, keeping about 1/2″ between each cookie because they do puff up and spread a little. Bake for 8-10 minutes, checking at about 7. Cookies are done when lightly golden brown around the edges. Allow cookies to cool and then enjoy with some milk and/or spiked ‘nog.

 

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