I have checked out Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole Grain Flours from the library no less than three times (requiring several weeks of waiting on hold each time). It’s about time I bought it, no?
What I love about her approach to baking with whole grain flours is that it is all about the complexity, depth and flavor that whole grain flours bring to recipes (rather than any interest in dietary asceticism—notice the double coating of sugar in the recipe that follows). I grew up with a mom that taught whole grain baking and sold whole grain breads and pastries for the very same reasons, so it really resonates with me.
This week we tried the gingersnaps, and they were superb. They don’t branch out too far into the specialty grain grocery aisle as some of her other recipes—using only whole wheat flour as well as all-purpose flour. The result is a sparkly, chewy treat that is only the tiniest bit wholesome.
Adapted from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain
Don’t skimp on the fresh ginger!
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar for finishing
In a large bowl, mix melted butter, sugars, molasses, fresh ginger and egg. Sift dry ingredients over bowl and mix until well combined. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (Boyce recommends overnight, we did two hours, and it was fine).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub two baking sheets with butter. Pour 1/2 cup sugar into a shallow bowl.
Grab balls of dough about 1 tablespoon in size (ours were slightly larger). Toss them in the sugar and then roll them into perfect rounds. Toss them in the sugar *again* to thoroughly coat. Place on cookie sheet with at least 2 inches between balls. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake 10-15 minutes (we baked ours for 12 minutes), rotating the pan halfway through. Cookies will flatten slightly, darken and crack beautifully across their surface. Remove gently to rack with spatula to cool.