Continuing with our theme of holiday-appropriate recipes, today I want to share with you one of my VERY favorite Christmas cookie recipes. I started making these 5 or 6 years ago, and they’ve quickly become a hit with my friends and family. I try not to show up at a holiday gathering without a batch of these cookies, ready to go! However, I have a little backstory to share about why I’m sharing this recipe today…
A few months ago, Crist sent me a link to something called The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I had never heard of it, but was immediately interested. Obviously, you all know that I love to bake, and I’ve said for the last several years that I’d really like to host a cookie exchange over the holidays. But, every year, the months and days get away from me, and I’m left with no time to plan it! So, I figured that joining this food blogger swap would fulfill a small part of my desire to share holiday cookies – and I thought it would be fun to be introduced to some new food blogs in the process!
So, I sent out my cookies to three bloggers last week (of course, I sent them on the absolute laste day that it was allowed – surprise, surprise), and I’ve received three shipments of cookies from other bloggers around the country! Today, all the food bloggers in the swap will be posting their recipes on their blogs, and later this week the organizers will be posting a huge round-up of all the recipes. I’ll post the link to the round-up once I have it.
As I said, this is one of my very favorite recipes. I have discovered as I’ve gotten older that I am a HUGE ginger fan. I love the heat and spice that it lends wherever you use it, whether that be in a sweet or savory recipe. These cookies are soft and chewy, with a bit of crunch on the outside from the raw sugar; and the combination of spices is just perfect for the holidays!
Chewy Ginger Sparklers
makes about 3 dozen
1 1/2 sticks salted butter
1 cup sugar
1 T orange juice
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 t ground ginger
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/4 t salt
1 t baking soda
Turbinado/raw sugar, for rolling
1.) Preheat your oven to 350°. Cream together the butter and sugar, for about 90 seconds, until well-combined.
2.) Add your molasses (spray your measuring cup with some non-stick spray before pouring the molasses in – it’ll help it pour out more easily), and mix until incorporated. Add the egg and orange juice and mix until combined.
3.) In another bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Add the flour to the butter mixture in 3 additions, always mixing until just combined, and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
4.) Roll the dough into balls the size of large marbles (just over 1″ in diameter). Roll each dough ball in the turbinado sugar, until it’s completely coated, and then place the balls on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned, and the center still looks a bit wet.
5.) Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, until they’re firm enough to move.
These cookies are seriously SO good. Lots of spice, some crunch (and sparkle!) from the raw sugar, and the little hit of citrus in the batter just really brightens the flavors up. They’re also really pretty – so I love to wrap a half dozen up in little cellophane bags, tied with a pretty ribbon, to give to my friends and family throughout the holidays.
‘Tis the season to stuff your face with cookies,