Baking Bars & Cookies Cookies Drop Cookie

Chewy Crystalized Ginger Cookies

These lovely, chewy ginger cookies stay fresh and soft for at least a week after baking - which makes them an excellent bake-ahead option for the holidays (or any time of year, really).

The holidays are here, y’all! And I had the best intentions to get this posted before I left for Mexico, but… I didn’t. Sorry. Instead, I’m finishing this draft while waiting on my flight back to Portland (which has been delayed several hours thanks to winter storm Eliot). Better late than never, though, and this holiday-appropriate recipe will still be just as good in January. These chewy crystalized ginger cookies are a treat! They also stay soft and yummy for daaaaays, so they are a good option for sharing or baking ahead if you want a sweet snack to have on hand.

I’d say they are neck and neck with the molasses cookies I posted eons ago when this blog was in its humble beginnings. (At some point I’ll update that recipe with my new formatting standards). Those are wonderful, too. But these cookies include crystalized ginger which makes them really gingery and delightful. And I wanted you to have both options!

Plus, these are only moderately adapted from my new favorite cookie cookbook – humbly named Cookies: The New Classics by Jesse Szewczyk. Highly recommend if you need a (belated) gift for a baker in your life. So far, pretty much all the recipes I’ve tried in it have been great.

In his version, he has you make giant cookies and roll them in regular sugar. I find rolling them in turbinado sugar provides an amazing crunchy crust for the otherwise soft cookies – a lovely texture combo. And I’m just not big on giant cookies. Lol.

Happy holidays! Much love! Be sweet to each other.

chewy ginger cookies

Ingredients are listed in the order they appear in the recipe and anything that requires prep is in bold. Ingredients are bolded in the directions when you first encounter them and the quantity required is included. I also include notes about any special equipment you’ll need.

Hassle Level One (1/4): time, ingredients, and equipment. You have to soften the butter. Unlike me, most folks don’t have crystalized ginger or molasses on hand, and this really does need a mixer to get the butter nice and fluffy.

Chewy Crystalized Ginger Cookies

(Mildly adapted from Cookies: The New Classics)

Required equipment: a mixer of some kind, and it will be easier with a cookie scoop.

  • 3 cups (380g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼  teaspoon regular salt)
  • ¼  teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups (250g) packed light brown sugar (dark is fine, too)
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup (185g) crystalized ginger, chopped
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)

Prep work: set the butter out to soften an hour or so in advance. Chop up the crystalized ginger into small pieces (I usually aim for a size somewhere in between mini-chips and regular chocolate chips). I like to use kitchen sheers, and tossing the chopped pieces in granulated sugar helps them from forming a giant clump.

Preheat the oven 350° and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups (380g) all-purpose flour,  2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼  teaspoon regular salt), and ¼  teaspoon finely ground black pepper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter and 1¼ cups (250g) brown sugar until nice and fluffy (roughly 2-3 minutes). Then, add in 1 egg, ⅓ cup molasses, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Then, mix on medium speed until very fluffy (another 2-3 minutes). 

Add in the flour mixture and mix on low-medium speed until mostly combined. Add in the 1 cup (185g) crystalized ginger and mix until just combined.

Pour the ½ cup turbinado sugar into a shallow dish.

Using a medium cookie scoop (1½ tablespoons) or a generously rounded tablespoon, scoop the dough into balls and roll between your hands to shape. Then, roll each ball in turbinado sugar to coat. 

Place balls on prepared cookie sheet – about 2 inches apart. (I usually get a dozen on a standard half-sheet pan). 

Bake the cookies 10-11 mins until they have flattened out and the tops of the cookies crack slightly. you want to pull them out before they look very done, but not until the tops get crackly. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on the pan then transfer to a wire rack.

Cookies will keep at room temperature for at least a week (if they make it that long). You can also scoop, roll, and then freeze the dough for future cookies. 

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