Good morning! Today is Candlemas! Want to make some crystallized ginger chocolate chip sugar cookies?
If you are in the Boston area, maybe we will see you tonight at the Anglican Use parish, St. Athanasius? 7:30 pm! Get those candles blessed!
Mine are all ready to go. I’ve scrounged some up. I feel like those nasty LED ones have pushed out real ones (our friend Fr. P calls those “contraceptive candles” and that’s rather apt!). My need is mainly for votives, which seem to be the very ones that are least available with any kind of quality. The very best ones I ever found were Shabbat 5-day votives — I picked them up on clearance after Passover one year at the grocery store. But now I can’t even find those.
Okay, enough complaining (note to self, give it up for Lent).
Let’s eat some delicious sugar cookies! Before it’s too late!
My go-to sugar cookie recipe (below) is from The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book (this version I’m linking to is awesome). These drop cookies quick, easy, buttery — and I’ve taken to adding little fun things to the recipe. Sometimes I add chopped dates, sometimes toffee bits, sometimes coconut flakes. Sometimes I swap out half the regular sugar for brown sugar, or replace some of it with honey. Anyway, they mix up in a jiffy and everyone loves them. More, they are intrigued by them, because the texture isn’t quite what they are expecting…
This time, I chopped up some crystallized ginger and threw in some mini chocolate chips. This is it, my friends. An inspired combination! The ginger gives it a little pop and a little softness, and the chocolate chips, well, everything needs chocolate chips!
So by the way, if you can swing (space-wise, which I really can’t) having two bowls for your KitchenAid mixer, I highly recommend it. This is a big-family thing. Since I let my dough proof and do its first fermentation right in the bowl, it’s ever so handy to have another one for crystallized ginger mini chocolate chip sugar cookies! Or what have you. If you don’t have lots of baking to do, it’s hard to make this seem like a necessity, but if you do (because of those hordes of children), you’ll see.
Crystallized Ginger Mini Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies, Like Mother, Like Daughter
(I’ve doubled the original recipe here. The cookies freeze perfectly if for some unknown reason you need to do that.)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger of high quality (this kind of ginger is what I mean)
1 cup mini dark chocolate chips of high quality
Preheat oven to 375°. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.
Mix in the dry ingredients. Mix in the ginger and the chocolate chips.
Drop the dough onto the ungreased cookie sheet, leaving room for them to spread*. If you like, you can roll the dough in coarse sugar or sprinkle some on top of each little ball, but with the crystallized ginger it’s not really necessary.
Bake until the cookies are just slightly browned and puffed, rotating them halfway through the baking time of 12 minutes or so.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes around 60 cookies.
*I like to use this scoop. A few years ago, Bridget said that she loves making cookies but hates the scooping part. Suddenly, after a lifetime of cookie-baking, I realized that she is right! So for her birthday we got her this scoop (among other things, don’t worry, we aren’t complete self-serving monsters). It’s a little stiff on the hands after a while, but it’s well made.