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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is the Ultimate Really the Ultimate?

I am always worried when something is referred to as "the ultimate".  Does that mean that it's really the best? Things change.  Is it the ultimate forever or for just that moment in time.  I know, I know.  This is all a little deep for the day before Thanksgiving,  but I have to tell you something.  More than once I have proclaimed that I have purchased the ultimate shoes or handbag only to discover that there's a new ultimate the next season.  Need I say more?  (Ted says I should stop trying to buy the ultimate--there is no point.)

Having pondered all that, I have to say that I think these ginger cookies may be the ultimate and thus they are aptly named.  I don't even like ginger, and I love these cookies.  Kelly loves these cookies (although she did suggest chopping up the crystallized ginger a little more finely), and everyone who's tasted them loves these cookies.  They actually may be the ultimate ginger cookie.

I especially like these cookies at this time of the year.  They're not really a summer cookie.  They're more suited to the spicy, nutmeggy (is that a word?) autumn.  They taste spicy and warming all at the same time. They're delicious.

So, rather than going for the ultimate new shoes, save yourself some money and go for the ultimate in ginger cookies.  Your credit card will thank you.

Ultimate Ginger Cookies
(Barefoot Contessa Parties, 2006)


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flout
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 extra large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups finely chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line 2 sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes.  Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute.  Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for one minute more.  With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop.  With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4 inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers.  Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the cookie sheets.  Bake for exactly 13 minutes.  The cookies will be cracked on the top and soft inside.  Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to the wire racks to cool completely.

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