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Ginger Pennies

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My first Christmas present and my first cookbook as a new bride was, at my request, The Joy of Cooking. It was from that book that I made my first cake (spice cake), my first bread (white bread), and my first pie (angel pie). Each was a great success; the book was everything its title promised. To this day, my favorite cookie recipe from Joy is for ginger thins, which inspired this recipe. These lovable little wafers are truly pennies from heaven: incredibly delicate, crispy, gingery, and addictive. Don't be tempted to make them too large as they will lose their unique daintiness.

bleached all-purpose flour 1-1/2 cups (dip and sweep method) 7.5 ounces 215 grams
ground ginger 3/4 teaspoon * *
ground cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon * *
ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon * *
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon * *
salt 1/4 teaspoon * *
light brown sugar 1 cup (firmly packed) 7.75 ounces 217 grams
1 large egg 3 tablespoons 1.75 ounces 50 grams
unsulfured molasses
(preferably Grandma's)
1/4 liquid cup
(use a greased liquid measuring cup)
2.75 ounces 80 grams
unsalted butter 12 tablespoons 6 ounces 170 grams

Equipment: nonstick, lightly buttered, or greased cookie sheets; reclosable gallon-size freezer bag.

Place 2 over racks in the upper and lower thirs of the over. Preheat over to 325 degrees Farenheit.

Foor Processor Method

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt, then whisk together to mix evenly.

In a food processor with the metal blade, process the brown sugar, egg, and molasses. Cut the butter into a few pieces and add it with the motor running. Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Pulse in the floud mixture until well blended.

Electric Mixer Method

Soften the butter. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt, then whisk together to mix evenly. In a mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar, egg, molasses, and butter. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture until well blended.

For Both Methods

Scrape the mixture into the freezer bag, close it securely, and cut off a small piece of the corner of the bag. Pipe small dots, about one-eighth teaspoon in size (1/2-inch mounds), about 1 inch apart. Ignore the small peaks that form; they will melt and flatten as the bookies bake.

Bake for about 5 minutes or until browned. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for about 3 minutes, then slide them off onto wire racks to cool and crisp. Keep them separate as they are cooling or they will stick to one another.

Store: In an airtight container at room temperature at low humidity.

Keeps: Several months at low humidity.

  • This practical recipe yields loads of cookies quickly and easily with ingredients most everyone has in the cupboard.
  • When first removed from the over, these cookies are very flexible. Cool them slightly on the cookie sheet to ensure a flat, even shape.
  • Allow the cookie sheet(s) to cool completely before using for the next batch.
  • Distribute the cookies evenly around the cookie sheet. Avoid crowding the cookies into one section of the cookie sheet, leaving a large area bare.