Hard Gingerbread cookie recipe
This hard gingerbread cookie recipe is for baking flat, square cookies that are somewhere between a gingerbread loaf and cookies. They are harder than the loaf, hence the title, but not as crisp as cookies generally are. There is a lot of ginger in this recipe, but the cooking reduces the bite.
You do need to be well prepared for the cooking with the oven up to temperature as you mix the ingredients. The baking soda is added to a warm mixture and so it froths quickly. From that point on it is a race to get it into the oven so that gas that is produced is not lost. For if it is the result can be very flat and hard. For these hard gingerbread cookies the oven is hotter than usual for cookie baking so that the mixture will set more quickly, capturing the bubbles. So watch carefully to make sure it doe not burn.
Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup/ 1 sticks/ 4 oz
All purpose (plain) flour – 3 cups plus a bit (see method) plus extra for rolling
Baking soda – 1 1/2 teaspoon
Ground ginger – 3 teaspoons
Ground cloves – 1/2 teaspoon
Rind of 1/2 lemon, grated
Dark Molasses (Warmed) – 1 cup
Buttermilk – 1/2 cup
Powdered sugar – 1 to 2 tablespoons for decoration
Heavy bottomed medium sized pan
Two non-stick heavyweight baking sheets.
Flat knife to cut and lift cookies
Put the oven on to warm up to 400F, Gas Mk 6, moderately hot.
Pour the molasses into the heavy bottomed pan and gently warm. Do not use a fierce heat or it could burn.
Cut the butter into pieces and add to the molasses, allow to melt and stir well.
Remember it is a warm, not hot, mixture we want. Remove from the heat when combined.
Add the buttermilk, lemon rind and spices and again stir well.
Now make sure your oven is up to temperature and that you have your two baking sheets ready to hand.
Place most of your flour into a bowl large enough to allow room for mixing. Keep about 1/2 cup of flour to one side for now.
Add the baking soda whilst stirring to get it mixed in quickly. The mixture will foam up as the soda meets the acid from the buttermilk in the warm mixture.
As soon as it is mixed, pour the molasses mixture over the flour and mix into a smooth dough.
It should be a bit on the wet side. Add more flour until it just lifts cleanly off the bowl.
Split into two and roll each out into a square to cover the baking sheet.
Dust with the powdered sugar and put straight into the oven.
Cook until light brown, 6 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on the side for two or three minutes. Cut into two or three inch squares, lift off the baking sheets and place on a rack to cool.
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