If you’re looking for a fancy-dancy, decorated holiday cookie recipe and/or technique, you may just want to keep clicking your little mouse right on to another site. But if you love good old-fashioned cookies with a delicious gourmet twist or if it’s cookies that come together quickly without much fuss you’re after or perhaps you’re just a bit smitten, like I am, for cookies with deep crinkly cracks that are crisp on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside. If any of these are true, then you’ve definitely come to the right place!
I’ve been working on these ginger cookies for a few weeks. My co-workers have been my guinea pigs and taste testers and I think we’ve come up with a winner. The cookies include molasses, ground ginger along with other warm autumn spices and crystallized, candied ginger which is available at many larger markets and specialty stores like Trader Jo’s, Fresh Market and Whole Foods. Pecans chopped fine and toasted in a bit of butter add another layer of delicious flavor and a bit of crunch as does the demera sugar that the cookies are rolled in before baking.
Do you have a holiday cookie exchange coming up? Did you promise treats for a work or school event? Maybe you just want your home to smell heavenly and homey when your kids walk in the door after a hard day at school or when a friend stops by for coffee. Whip up a batch of Crinkly Crackly Toasted Pecan Ginger Cookies. I have a feeling you just might become someone’s hero!
Crinkly Crackly Toasted Pecan Ginger Cookies
1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped (I just pulse them a few times in my food processor, chop them fairly fine, but don’t turn them into pecan dust.)
2 teaspoons butter, melted
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystalized ginger
½ cup demera sugar, for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Add the ½ cup demera sugar to a wide, shallow bowl.
2. Place chopped pecans in a medium size bowl. Drizzle with the 2 teaspoons melted butter. Turn out onto one of the sheet pans and bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring several times, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugar till creamy and fluffy.
4. Add the egg and molasses and mix well.
5. Combine dry ingredients and add to sugar/butter mixture. Mix until all flour is incorporated.
6. Add chopped ginger and toasted pecans. Mix to combine.
7. Scoop up dough into 1-inch balls (I use a medium size ice cream scoop) and roll in the prepared bowl of Demera sugar to coat well.
8. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 350˚F. for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for several minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to cooling rack.
Make sure pans are cool before adding balls of dough. If the dough is added to warm pans it will soften before it gets to the oven and the finished cookies will be flatter, with less of the fun crackles. When baking cookies, I use 3-4 pans and just transfer the parchment paper to a cool pan. None of the pans get dirty due to the parchment paper, but I’m never waiting for pans to cool.