This past summer, I discovered my favorite cookie. It’s sold at Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland. I’ve always been a fan of gingerbread-like desserts, but this cookie takes it to a new level. It’s made with fresh ginger and ground black pepper. It’s slightly crunchy on the inside, but soft and chewy on the inside. Darn near perfect when it comes to cookies.
When I tried it, the idea of both fresh ginger and black pepper in a cookie were new to me. I’ve wanted to try making something similar ever since. I think creating the right cookie texture is going to take me much more practice than I am able to commit to this holiday season, so I went the easy route and incorporated the flavors into a bar.
It’s certainly not an exact replica, but for someone who can’t get enough gingerbread this time of year, these chewy, spicy cookie bars hit the spot.
Ginger Molasses Cookie Bars
Makes: 16 bars
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 large egg
½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground clove
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan lightly with unsalted butter.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, coconut sugar and 1/3 cup of the turbinado sugar. Cream together on medium to medium-high speed, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses and mix for about 30 more seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the egg and mix 30 more seconds. Mix in the fresh ginger.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until all ingredients are combined.
Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely and cut into 16 bars.