Following the old wive’s tale of “feed anything that makes you feel icky” and herbal wisdom that ginger is a powerful antibiotic, the only logical course of action for a crafty maven with a killer cold is to bake ginger cookies. Thing is, I suck at baking cookies. And I’m super picky. I do not like cakey cookies, or puffy cookies. I like chewy cookies, but they have to have crunchy edges. And in my sickened state, I have no tolerance for anything that isn’t exactly as I want it, without have to be told, thank you very much.
But I wanted cookies. Actually, I wanted a way to use up the homemade caramel sauce in the fridge that was relentlessly seducing me like a sticky siren of impending sugary regret, and was about to win and be swallowed by the spoonful with the Alyssa-wisdom that anything cold and slippery will make my throat feel better, and therefore is appropriate when sick. (You know, the legendary healing powers of ice-cream.)
My favorite cookies are those chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies that started turning up a few years ago in every coffee shop in Seattle. That’s what I wanted, and I came damned close. My twist, however, was to chill the dough and then plop them on the cookie sheet as balls, flatten the top and make a hole with a floured-finger. Then drizzle some caramel sauce in the hole. My assumption was that it would flatten out, but leave a gooey sticky caramely center that was chewy from having been cooked – and therefore reduced – some more.
That gooey caramely center is sooooo worth the mess!
I WAS SOOOOOOOO RIGHT.
1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 Large Egg
2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Ginger
1 Teaspoon Dried Ginger Powder
Dash Cayenne Pepper
Dash Chili Oil
Caramel Topping (Totally optional, and any store-bought caramel topping will work. Best yet, one of those solid caramel cube candies would be PERFECT and much less messy!)
Mix everything except the flour and baking powder together and whip it until it’s creamy and delicious. Taste it to make sure you like it, this is all your flavor. (Flour has no flavor, it just holds things together.)
Add the flour and baking powder, a bit at a time. Beat each addition just until blended, then stop your mixer, add more, and mix until blended. You do not want to over beat them or you will wind up with something cakey and bready and it will break my heart.
Place them in sloppy balls on the cookie sheet, no more than 9 because they flatten out, a lot.
Put caramel in top. If you have the cubes, just stick it in. If you’re using liquid, make a hole with your finger and pour a little in. No more a teaspoon or so, as it largely melts all over the top and onto the pan.
Bake for 10 minutes at 350.
Let them cool for a few minutes before you try to take them off the sheet, as they are really gooey until they’ve cooled a bit, and they will fall apart.
Take two with a glass of milk and cup of tea, then lie on the couch moaning until someone notices and brings you another.
GET WELL SOON!