The rainy winter season is upon us. The one upside to the rain, snow and cold are the winter spices. My favourite is ginger. Ginger is comforting and uplifting all at once. The peak season for fresh ginger is march to september, but I always find myself craving it in desserts and drinks in the winter.
Chocolate dipped ginger cookies
Ingredients: 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) granulated sugar, 2/3 cup (150 mL) vegetable oil, 1/4 cup (50 mL) fancy molasses, 1 egg, 1-3/4 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground ginger, 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger, 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon, 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder, 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt.
Preparation: In large bowl, whisk together 1 cup (250 mL) of the sugar, oil, molasses and egg until smooth.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt ; stir into sugar mixture.
Shape by rounded tablespoonfuls (15 mL) into balls; roll in remaining sugar to coat. Place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on parchment paper–lined or greased rimless baking sheets.
Bake in top and bottom thirds of 375°F (190°C) oven, rotating and switching pans halfway through, until cookies spread out and tops crack, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pans on racks for 10 minutes; transfer to racks and let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and store for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)
Tip: You can spice up this classic by adding 1/3 cup (75 mL) finely chopped crystallized ginger to the dry ingredients.
Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Dip half of each cookie in to melted chocolate. Let cool on parchment paper.
As the above recipe shows I can’t resist putting chocolate on everything. I also like it inside the cookie as well so I tried out Martha Stewart’s chocolate chip ginger cookies, they did not disappoint.
Chocolate chip ginger cookies
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Directions: Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Ginger Apple Cider
A couple of weeks I went to Finch’s for lunch on a very rainy day. They were serving the perfect rainy day drink: ginger apple cider. I have been making pot after pot of ginger apple cider since that day.
I heat apple juice, cinnamon sticks, several chunky pieces of fresh ginger, and a dash of powdered ginger, cinnamon and cloves. I let it simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour to let all the flavours melt, then drink up. It is perfect for sitting by the fireplace or watching an old movie on a raining evening. Don’t forget to enjoy a cookie with your cup of cider.