Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Crystallized Ginger and Rosemary Cookies

If you are not into baking or cookies in general, but would like to try and bake at least one type of cookie in your life, for all things holly you have GOT to make these! They are out of this world! The base dough is simple (and I repeat simple) sugar cookie dough. However, the addition of crystallized ginger and fresh rosemary elevates these cookies from ho-hum sugar cookie level to worthy of serving at a royal tea party level of sophistication. They are fantastic!

If you only make one type of cookie in your entire life, this has to be IT!

Difficulty level: easy! Taste level: WOW!

3 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) superfine sugar
2 large egg yolks at room temperature
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1 cup (6oz) finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Begin beating on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or until very light and smooth.

Add the superfine sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. When all the sugar has been added, beat for 2 minutes.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat for 1 minute.

Mix in half the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Add the milk. When blended, add the remaining flour, the crystallized ginger, and the fresh rosemary and beat to just barely blend.

Remove the dough onto a lightly floured, clean and flat work surface. Lightly flour your hands and finish mixing the dough by using a gentle kneading motion, working until the dough is just blended. Do not overwork the dough.

Form the dough into two disks and cover each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 6-7 days) or until firm. (Dough can also be frozen for up to a month.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the granulated sugar on a large plate.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon, make mounds of dough. Roll the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Using your palm, gently flatten each ball to about 2 inches in diameter. Roll each cookie in the granulated sugar to coat completely and place them, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets.

Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just barely brown around the edges (they should still be pale on top).

Remove from the oven and, using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

Store, airtight, at room temperature for up to a week.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe adapted from "Milk & Cookies" by Tina Casaceli

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