Ginger Cookies

Thin Mints vs. Samoas, Oatmeal Raisin vs. Chocolate Chip, Slice and Bake vs. frozen dough -- these are the cookies wars that we have fought for generations. Yet none is as famous or divisive as the war between soft-cookie people and crunchy-cookie people. Though I generally align myself with the soft-cookie camp, my allegiance is admittedly somewhat weak, and I can be persuaded by a good crunch from time to time.

That said, the notion of a soft gingersnap is swoonworthy. I became so excited when I found this recipe while skimming through Baking Bites, who found the recipe from Real Simple. The recipe assures us that the cookies do not turn out like rocks, as gingersnaps often do. We love ginger but chipped teeth repel us; it was a must-try.

The verdict? Better than we imagined. The crystallized ginger pieces not only lend an excellently spicy flavor, but also a chewiness that we loved. The cookies also call for pepper and balsamic vineagar, which we found intriguing. Though you can't distinguish the flavors when the cookies are baked, they contain a strong spiced flavor that we agreed is unlike that of any other gingersnap. So do your part to promote the global takeover of soft-cookie people, choose these as your holiday gingersnap.

Ingredients (makes 5 dozen):

4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, at room temperatur
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus more for coating
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs, molasses, vinegar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and pepper. Beat the flower mixture into the butter mixture. Add the crystallized ginger.
Make 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls, and roll them in extra sugar before placing them on the baking sheet. Press cookies to flatten slightly and bake for 10-12 minutes.