Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lemon Ginger Cookies

Inspiration for my baking comes from all over the place, but I suspect that the inspiration for these cookies came from the strangest place yet: Chris' body wash. Every time I smelled the stuff I would start thinking about making lemon ginger cookies, which is pretty ironic since I'm pretty sure there is no ginger or lemon in his body wash. So after my shower this morning I decided to actually follow through with the inspiration and make some cookies.

I didn't have a recipe for lemon ginger cookies, but that didn't bother me too much. I took the lemon cooler cookies from my King Arthur Flour cookie book and added a teaspoon of ground ginger and about a 1/4 cup of finely minced crystallized ginger. When I tasted the cookie dough though I was a bit unhappy with the lemon flavor so I added the juice of half a lemon, just to bump it up a bit.

If/when I make these again I will likely add even more ginger. The cookies are very soft and cake-like with a nice lemon flavor and only the barest hint of ginger in the back of your mouth after you swallow. The flavor might come forward a little more after they sit overnight, but I suspect that the flavor combination I'm looking for will only come about by adding even more ground ginger and leaving the chunks of crystallized ginger bigger so that the bite and spice comes through with each bite.

It's a good combination though and I think they would make a nice change in the Christmas cookie offerings this year -- for those who are sending cookies that is, because I'm pretty sure I will only send a box or two this year, unlike last year when we shipped dozens of boxes and made at least 30 boxes for coworkers.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger (or if you want a more assertive ginger flavor use 1 1/2 tsp)
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp lemon oil (if you don't have this zest another lemon and add more juice)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger

In a medium mixing bowl cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the sugars, salt, baking powder, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon oil and mix until everything is smooth. Add the flour and then the ginger and blend to combine. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 and scoop the cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats. Bake 10 -12 minutes until the cookies are brown on the bottom and set on the edges. Cool completely.


burkie said...

aarrgghh!! i meant to go down to chris' office today and grab a couple but never made it. i hope there's one left tomorrow.

burkie said...

i think the extra day i waited (deliberately, you see, to test this out for you) helpt bring the ginger out more. i thought the balance was perfect--both lemony and gingery, but neither flavor overpowered the other. a success!

Ben said...

not sure i could've eaten one of these cookies without thinking i was actually eating chris' body wash... *sigh* stupid brain.

Leslie said...

The real test to these cookies....when you smell the cookies, do they remind you of the body wash?? LOL
They sound wonderful!