Abbey of Our Lady and of St. Ginger, Gingerbread Cookies
Do you remember the Knights Templar, the mysterious order
of Holy Warriors that went underground to avoid persecution.
There was a baker among them named Baker Keith who came from
Saint Claude in France, he was the Grand Master of baking
for the Templar Knights, during one of the crusades in the
Holy land at the Siege of Acre-he escaped with his life, but
only barely. Wandering through the Far East trading secrets
along the Silk Road-he ended up spending the his golden years
in the Kaifeng. When he went to the great beyond, the Emperor
Quinzong had his ashes and this recipe placed in a porcelain
urn where it remained until Sue and I bought the urn at a
flea market in San Francisco last year. Couriosity got the
better of me, I unsealed it and the ashen papyrus unveiled
it's secret. We salute you oh Grand Baker Keith of Templar
Lore for sharing this wonderful recipe with us. We hope it
lasts for another 1000 years.
2 cups flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
Decorating sugar or sprinkles (optional)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda,
and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and
brown sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer
on low, add dry ingredients; mix just until a dough forms.
Place dough on floured plastic wrap; pat into an 8-inch square.
Wrap well; chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half. Working
with one half at a time (rewrap and refrigerate other half),
place dough on floured parchment or waxed paper; roll out
to 1/8-inch thick, turning, lifting, and flouring dough (and
rolling pin) as needed. Freeze dough (on paper) until firm,
about 20 minutes.
Loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes, and transfer to
baking sheets. Decorate with sugar or sprinkles, as desired.
Bake until firm and edges just begin to darken, 10 to 18 minutes,
depending on size of cookie. Cool completely on baking sheets.
For the neatest edges, dip cutters in flour before cutting
out each cookie. This recipe makes 3-dozen medium cookies.
RETURN TO RECIPE