Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kitchen Adventure: Thick And Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Baking Illustrated

3 cups (15 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (5 1/4 oz) dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces
3/4 cup molasses
2 tablspoons milk

1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
2. Evenly place the butter pieces over the flour mixture. Process the butter into the mixture until it looks like fine sand, about 15-30 seconds.
3. In a liquid mixing cup with a pour spout, combine the molasses and milk. With the food processor running, slowly pour the milk-molasses mixture in in an even stream. Process a few extra seconds to ensure that the mixture is fully combined.
4. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper to baking sheet size and set aside. Turn the dough out onto the counter or a silicone baking mat. Divide it into two equally sized balls and set one aside. Place one dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper. Set a second sheet on top of the dough ball and gently flatten it a bit so that it will be easier to roll. Now take a rolling pin and roll the dough between the two parchment sheets until it's 1/4" thick. Place the rolled dough (still with its parchment paper) on a baking sheet and repeat the process with the other dough ball.
5. Place the baking sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes to chill the dough. Alternatively you can leave the dough for 2-24 hours in the fridge.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
7. Remove both of the dough sheets from the freezer/fridge and remove the top sheet of parchment. Note: I recommend using this sheet to bake the cookies on as it saves parchment paper. Using whatever cookie cutter shape you prefer, cut out the cookies and place them on a baking sheet, setting the scraps aside. Reroll the scraps between the parchment sheets (chill if it gets too warm and stick) and repeat until no more dough remains.
8. Bake the cookies until they're just set, 8-11 minutes. Gently touching a cookie with a finger should barely leave an imprint.
9.  Eat or decorate if you want, enjoy!