The storm had paused for a few hours and the sight out the window was an enchanted winter wonderland. We decided to bundle up, pull our boots out of hibernation and take a stroll. It had snowed, rained, then froze and everything was covered with a thin layer of ice. It was fun to hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of the ice shattering with each step.
We have a wooded trail nearby and it was a gorgeous sight to see the evergreen trees robed in white while the others glistened with a layer of clear frozen crystal. We certainly couldn't have snuck up on anyone though; the normally silent winter forest scene seemed to echo every footstep as if we were giants.
It seemed that hiking through the icy snow was double the effort of normal walking, and both Scott and I worked up a hardy appetite. By the time we got home, we were famished. I prepared some lunch, but also decided something sweet would be quite proper for such a snowy winter day. These Ginger Toffee Cookies were the perfect prescription!
These little guys are some of my favorite cookies, though a bit unusual for ginger cookies. The difference? They don't include traditional ground ginger; finely chopped crystalized ginger is the mystery ingredient here. Another delicious departure from the classic ginger cookie is the addition of toffee bits. These cookies also include cinnamon, cloves, a generous splash of molasses and a roll in demera (raw) sugar before baking. The cookies are crunchy (just like the snow!) and crisp around the edges with chewy, sweet centers; to me, the perfect ginger/molasses cookie.
No matter what your weather menu looks like, I think these cookies will be a hit at your house too. Just be sure to plan ahead a bit as they need a one hour chill in the fridge before baking. I'm going to run now; I think I'll take another long, crunchy walk so I can feel justified in eating a couple more cookies. Well, maybe more soggy than crunchy as it's now 54˚F with bright sunny skies and rivers of melting snow everywhere!
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 ½ cups brown sugar
¾ cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup finely chopped crystalized ginger*
1 8-ounce bag toffee bits (I use Heath Bits of Brickle) you can find these near the chocolate chips - not all groceries carry them but I know both Super Walmart and Targets with grocery sections do.
½ cup demera sugar (also called raw or turbinado sugar), for rolling
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the molasses eggs and vanilla. Beat until incorporated.
2. Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Mix for 10-15 seconds. Add flour, chopped crystallized ginger and toffee bits. Mix just until all flour is incorporated. Scrape down dough from sides of bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean up, if desired. Pour demera sugar onto a large dinner size plate.
4. Scoop out golf ball-size spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls between the palms of your hands. Roll in the demera (also known as turbinado or raw) sugar and place on prepared sheet pans.