y’all should be angry with me for keeping these chewy ginger cookies from you for so long. i mean, technically they’ve been available to you, if you haunt epicurious or have a copy of bon appétit’s march 2000 issue lying around, but if you don’t, well, i’m sorry it’s taken me so long to share.
these are my long-standing favorite ginger cookie, by a wide margin. and i say that as someone who loves ginger and takes taste testing ginger cookies quite seriously. since i suspect there are two camps with respect to ginger cookies, i should come right out and state that these are emphatically soft, chewy ginger cookies. these are not ginger snaps (<– which i totally just blanked on the name of and tried to call ginger “crisps”. as always, thank goodness for google’s suggestions…)
anyway, these cookies are… just so good. as in, when i made them most recently to take these photographs of them, i promptly stuffed an inappropriate quantity of them in my mouth in the few minutes between finishing the photo shoot and packaging them up in containers and putting them out in the mudroom to take to friends the following day. there was no way that they could just sit innocently on the kitchen counter for 24 hours and not be nearly devoured by the next day. don’t say i didn’t warn you…
besides the ridiculous amount of deliciousness packed into these cookies, they are also excellent travelers and very patient if you don’t eat all of them immediately. in fact, the first time i tried these cookies was when my friend shipped them across the country to me (a process that obviously took several days and involved a bunch of jostling). since they are soft, they arrived intact and fresh. which is definitely a bonus this time of year if you are sending edible gifts, participating in cookie swaps, or just get annoyed when cookies are much less yummy on day two.
as soon as bit into that first cookie i received, i immediately ran to my computer to demand the recipe from my kind friend. when she sent it, i saw that she had done her research, as the recipe currently has a 4/4 rating from 375 reviewers on epicurious, with 96% of reviewers saying they would make the cookies again (i really don’t know who those 4% are…).
recently i sat down to read through all of the comments to see what we could learn from others who had already made these and here’s what i learned: a) it’s really difficult/impossible to replicate the texture shown in the picture on the epicurious website, b) a lot of people have nevertheless tried, and c) 375 is a lot of comments.
i will confess that i didn’t make it all the way through the comments but what i learned is that basically ever since crisco changed their formula around 2007/2008, everyone has been struggling to reproduce the fluffy cookies in the photo. as i was first introduced to the cookies after the formula switch and my friend didn’t use shortening anyway, these are the cookies i have always known and loved. (which makes me wonder why i am even telling you all of this and risking setting you up to be disappointed…)
in short, these cookies are amazing, yours will likely look like mine (which are delicious and soft and chewy), and if you’re a baking nerd, the epicurious comment thread on these chewy ginger cookies is interesting (at least for the first 19 pages). and since you may be wondering, we’re using mostly butter here, because it’s delicious, with a little bit of oil, to help keep the cookies soft and moist.
alright, enough talking, more baking!
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