As a new feature on The Book Case, we'll be sharing select recipes from the cookbooks reviewed in our monthly cooking column. First up is a delicious cookie recipe from David Lebovitz, whose Ready for Dessert is "inspired and inspiring," according to our reviewer Sybil Pratt. Give this recipe a try and see for yourself—and share your results in the comments!
Makes about 20 cookiesThe name may lead you to think these are crisp cookies, but they’re not. They are snappy in another way—there are plenty of spices in the batter, plus a generous helping of candied ginger, making them deserving of the snap moniker. They’re good on their own, but with such a soft, chewy texture, I had a hunch that they would make dynamite ice cream sandwiches, so I filled a few with Tangy Lemon Frozen Yogurt and popped them in the freezer. The next day, when I pulled a sandwich out of the freezer and took a bite, I stopped dead in my tracks because I was so stunned: it was the best ice cream sandwich I’ve ever had.
Complete recipe after the jump:
2 1/4 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons plus a big pinch ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (215 g) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup (80 ml) mild molasses
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup (50 g) finely chopped Candied Ginger
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the ginger, cloves, and pepper.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the egg whites and beat 1 minute. With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 1 minute more. Stir in the candied ginger. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 1 hour.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and big pinch of cinnamon.
Using two spoons or a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop, drop heaping tablespoons of dough (about the size of an unshelled walnut) a few at a time into the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Use your hands to form the dough into balls and coat them heavily with the cinnamon sugar. They’ll be sticky, which is normal, and don’t worry if they’re not perfectly round. Place the balls at least 3 inches (8 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the cookies feel just barely set in the centers, about 13 minutes. If they puff a lot during baking, flatten the tops very gently with a spatula, just enough so they’re no longer rounded.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack.
Storage: The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for 2 months. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Variation: If you like extra chewy cookies, midway during baking, press each cookie firmly with a flat spatula so they are about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) high, then continue baking.Reprinted with permission from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Maren Caruso © 2010