Chewy ginger cookies with cardamom and black pepper (about 36 cookies)

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Serious Eats is always a fun read, and their recipe section is stuffed with intriguing and bizarre recipes (some involving "animal innards"). When I first saw their recipe for spiced ginger cookies a few months ago, I knew I had to try them. Anybody who knows me knows I'm a chai fanatic, and this recipe included many of the same ingredients. This recipe makes a soft, palm-of-your-hand-sized, not-too-sweet cookie that's a perfect partner for an afternoon cup of tea.

You will need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (skipped because I didn't have any)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (I used a little less)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses (I used maple syrup instead)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
  2. Whisk together the first eight ingredients (flour through pepper) in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil using a hand mixer on low. Then beat in the egg, molasses, and grated ginger until smooth.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to gradually fold the flour mixture into the liquid mixture. Gently fold in the crystallized ginger.
  5. Shape the dough into one-inch balls (the dough will be very soft) and place them a few inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on the sheet for 3 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With three different types of ginger, these cookies are quite flavorful! Unfortunately, the most recent time I made them, I accidentally left out the cinnamon, and I was sorry I did. I also added a pinch of cloves, but I wouldn't do that again because it was too overpowering. Lesson learned: stick to the recipe!