As the days are becoming more hot and humid here in D.C., I'm trying to make baked goods that will hold up well during my commute. In this vein, I decided to try a recipe for "Crispy Gingersnaps" from Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter. My standard gingersnap recipe, from Sunday Best Baking: Over a Century of Secrets from the White Lily Kitchen, produces delicious and superchewy cookies... but in humid weather they can become soft and a little floppy. I was happy to try a recipe that promised to produce a crispy ginger cookie.
The recipe is unusual in that it doesn't call for any molasses, which Walter credits with creating the crispy texture. The batter contains flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, salt, butter, sugar, dark brown sugar, egg, vanilla, cider vinegar, and crystallized ginger. The lack of molasses created a cookie that was much paler in color than other ginger cookies I have made; I thought the finished cookies could easily have been mistaken for peanut butter cookies.
I eagerly waited for my cookies to cool so that I could try one and enjoy the crispy texture. The only problem was, the cookies were chewy! Not uberchewy like my regular gingersnaps, but still, pretty much exactly what you would expect from a ginger cookie and nothing close to crisp. The cookies tasted fine, although I thought their flavor lacked depth (maybe because of the lack of molasses?). Tom almost immediately observed that this cookie would probably be much improved with the addition of some chocolate chips.
I wasn't exactly thrilled with the results, so I decided to see if I could pep up the cookies a bit by making them into ice cream sandwiches. As it happens, I had made some rhubarb gelato over the weekend using a recipe from the Wall Street Journal Magazine. (My gelato was tan colored because the only rhubarb I could find at Wegman's over the weekend was mostly green, with just a touch of red; when I cooked it down, I ended up with a rhubarb paste that was brown, instead of pink.)
I thought that the rhubarb gelato might work well with these cookies because in the past, I've made gingersnap ice cream sandwiches with lemon ice cream, and lemon and ginger are a great combination. Rhubarb is very tart and the rhubarb gelato was very reminiscent of citrus; the pairing was perfect.
I doubt that I would make this cookie again, since I don't think it's better than the other gingersnaps and ginger chip cookies that I regularly make. But I do have to say that they arrived at the office in perfect condition on a very humid day, so in that regard, they turned out to be exactly what I was looking for!