Cracks that Shine and Sparkle: Ginger Cracks

I recently restocked my supply of Penzey's crystallized ginger and decided that I should try out a new ginger cookie recipe. I thumbed through the "Ginger" chapter of  Lisa Yockelson's Baking by Flavor -- where I also found her wonderful recipes for Ginger Butter Balls and Ginger Brownies -- and selected "Ginger Cracks." She describes the cookies as spicy and chewy-crisp, brightened by the intense and radiant flavor of crystallized ginger.

To make the cookie dough, you cream shortening and softened butter (Yockelson says that "the shortening creates a well-developed cookie with a crunchy shear to it, while the butter adds flavor"), add sugar, beat in the liquid ingredients (egg, molasses, and vanilla) followed by the sifted dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice), and blend in the crystallized ginger. You need to chill or freeze the dough until it's firm enough to handle before forming the cookies (I used a #40 scoop), rolling them in sugar (I used sanding sugar), and baking.

The cookies puffed and cracked during baking, and I took them out of the oven before they were fully set. They were fantastic -- crisp on the outside, superchewy on the inside, and chock full of amazing spicy-sweet ginger flavor. I think the cookies might have been even better with some more crystallized ginger, but otherwise, the appearance, taste, and texture were perfect.

These cookies are as delicious as the double-ginger chocolate chunk cookie, which has been my go-to ginger cookie. Each has its own advantages; the double-ginger chocolate chunk cookie is not as chewy as the ginger crack cookie, but then again, it features the wonderful combination of chocolate and ginger. You can't go wrong with either one!

Recipe: "Ginger Cracks" from Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson.

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Louise said…
I love good ginger cookies, but never think to make them except at Christmas. I use this recipe and run the crystallized ginger through the food processor so it is almost like grains of rice. I also add 1/2 tsp. allspice. Is this recipe far off from the Ginger Cracks recipe?
Hi Louise! The Penzey's ginger comes in pretty small chunks, so I use it as is, directly from the bag (with other brands, I will chop it first). The epicurious recipe is pretty darn close to this one -- same amount of egg, shortening and butter, and virtually the same amount of flour and molasses. One difference is that the Yockelson recipe uses white sugar instead of dark brown, and it uses 2 tablespoons less.