A heavy sugar crust and the peppery bite of fresh ginger make these gingerbread cookies scrumptious. Be sure your spices are fresh; it will make a big taste difference here.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 (3.25-oz.) jar coarse sparkling sugar (see note)
How to Make It
Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir until blended.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add brown sugar, beating well. Beat in molasses, egg yolk, lemon rind, grated ginger, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture; beat just until blended.
Shape dough into a ball, and divide in half. Flatten each half into a round disk; wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill 2 1/2 hours until firm.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough, 1 section at a time, to 1/4" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into star shapes, using a 4" cookie cutter. Place 1/2" apart on prepared baking sheets.
Whisk together 1 egg and whipping cream; brush egg wash lightly over cookies. Sprinkle heavily with sparkling sugar.
Bake at 325° for 17 minutes or until cookies are puffed and slightly darker around edges. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets; remove with parchment paper to wire racks to cool completely.
Note: Sparkling sugar can be purchased at gourmet grocery stores or cake decorating shops, or ordered from La Cuisine at 800-521-1176 or lacuisineus.com