This happens to me sometimes, most powerfully with the root beer cake. (Although I don't think this happened, I like to envision myself reading about the root beer cake and floating away from my computer in a robotic fog to the store where I purchased all the ingredients--including the bundt pan, as you may recall--and making the cake, all the while measuring and mixing with glassy eyes as if under a spell.) This may be an exaggeration, but sometimes a recipe takes hold in my head and I can't do anything until I make it.
It happened with these cookies yesterday. Luckily, this time I had all the ingredients on hand, so no trancelike trip to the store was necessary. Once I got home from work and got the dog walked and fed, I began baking. Frances settled down on her special kitchen rug (equidistant from the cutting board and the fridge so she can quickly reach any dropped bits) and watched me.
I was in the midst of rolling the dough into little balls when my sister called from New Jersey.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Making ginger cookies," I replied nonchalantly. She seemed surprised, and jealous that we didn't live closer.
While I was chatting with her, the husband arrived home and looked at the sheet pan, half-filled with sugar-crusted gingery orbs. He also looked surprised. His look translated to, "What the what?!"
Ginger cookies, I mouthed.
One thing especially cool about this recipe, and what drew me to it in the first place, is that it calls for my favorite spice, cardamom. I've already written a love letter to cardamom here, so I will spare you another long-winded tribute. Basically, I think it's the bomb--full of ginger and pepper and earthy spice-- but tragically underused.
I also like that these cookies bake for 7 minutes. So in no time at all, I was admiring my lovely little cookies, which I stacked up to make them look arty.
I brought the husband a pre-dinner cookie to enjoy with his beer while he cursed Comcast for not airing the Kentucky basketball game, which, much the way I had been with these cookies, he had been looking forward to all day. The cookie seemed good enough to mollify him, though briefly. I thought they were outstanding--spicy, a little sweet, and as soft and chewy as promised--no gingersnaps here. Not to get ahead of myself, but these would make dynamite ice cream sandwich cookies.
The ingredient list is a bit unusual; in addition to the cardamom and black pepper, it also calls for a tiny amount of cocoa powder, as well as fresh grated ginger, and crystallized ginger, which I didn't have. Although I probably wouldn't have included it even if I had it because I don't care for junk in my cookies unless we're talking chocolate chips or possibly toffee. You can keep your nuts, dried fruit, and dessicated ginger nubs (which I will eat by themselves--just not nestled into cookies).
Next time I would add more cardamom, and a little more fresh ginger, but that's just me. They are quite delicious just as they are. So, if you are on the hunt for a perfect ginger cookie recipe, give this a try. With their pantry-friendly ingredient list and super-quick baking time, you could be eating one of these fabulous, fragrant cookies in no time flat.