Back in college, I worked at this very magical scone shop called Kim’s Kitchen. Kim’s was a tiny place in Evanston, Illinois, where college kids and high school youths came together in the late afternoon hours to gossip and bake. It was a cozy, familial place on a leafy suburban street, and the proprietress was a stern but maternal woman who taught her young staff things like how to chop an onion and which brand of boxed wine is the highest quality. Kim also taught us to bake, sort of, but mostly she just gave us a recipe and told us not to mess up. Which we usually did anyway, because we were very busy gossiping.
The thing I loved most about Kim’s was the company, but the ginger scones came in a close second. Ginger is a transformative ingredient. It’s in almost every savory thing: marinades and salads and sautees, not to mention cocktails and teas and juices. For some reason, though, it’s not a go-to ingredient in baked goods. There are ginger scones, of course, and ginger snaps, but what else? Why the dearth of ginger in the mainstream cookie spectrum?
I assume there is some sort of scientific explanation for this, but who knows. Kim never got around to teaching us that part. Plus, I did some experimenting and it turns out ginger tastes pretty great in chocolate chip cookies. It’s a little chewy, texture-wise, but that’s perfect, because so are the cookies. I also like to add a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt atop each cookie before baking for an extra bit of flavor. The end result is simple, rich, moist, chewy, and everything else that a cookie should be.
Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces
Classy sea salt (preferably Maldon)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs, one by one. Beat until creamy. Add dry mixture, mixing until the flour is completely incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and ginger.
Spoon cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet (You can use baking spray if you have it lying around). Add a dusting of sea salt atop cookie formations. Cook for approx. 9 minutes. Remove from the oven when the top of the cookie is beginning to turn golden brown. Let cool for 2-5 minutes or until solid, basically, and then transfer them from the baking sheet to a plate. Eat at least one immediately, because this is the best time to eat these cookies.