Cookies to me are a great dessert as long as they are rich and flavorful. These ginger cookies are crisp and buttery with a good dose of spiciness. They are quick to make, and you can prepare the dough up to 1 week in advance, or make it a few months in advance and freeze it, although there is a little flavor lost when frozen. Sometimes I serve them alongside a dish of rich vanilla ice cream, but that is by no means essential.
MAKES ABOUT 4 DOZEN
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
ВЅ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
ВЅ cup white sugar
2 cups unbleached white flour
1ВЅ tablespoons ground ginger
Вј teaspoon cinnamon
Вј teaspoon ground cloves
Вј teaspoon salt
Sugar to sprinkle on top
- Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric beater until well blended and fluffy. In a smaller bowl mix the remaining ingredients until well blended.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until blended, but do not overbeat the dough. Gather it into a ball; it will be crumbly. (You can gather it into 2 balls and in the following step, shape each into a log, then freeze 1 for future use.)
- Lightly flour a sheet of wax paper about 12 inches long. Put the dough on it and shape it into a log 2 inches in diameter. Roll up the log so that it is covered with wax paper. Chill it for 1 hour or up to 1 week, or freeze until ready to use. (If you keep it longer than a day or if you freeze it, wrap it in a plastic bag.) If frozen, thaw slightly before slicing.
- Preheat the oven to 350В°F. Slice the log into Вј-inch-thick slices no thicker. An easy way to do this is to use a ruler as a guide and mark off Вј-inch spaces across the log. Place them on the cookie sheet 1 inch apart.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until evenly golden. Be careful not to burn them. When done, immediately sprinkle some sugar on each cookie, then cool completely on a wire rack. Store in a covered tin.