Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
Dietary guidance: v n
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling
1 TBSP grated lemon zest
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger
Sift together flour and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside.
Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the 3/4 cup sugar, lemon zest, ginger and salt. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Add the egg and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until all the dry ingredients are incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until just incorporated.
Remove small handfuls of the dough from the mixer and plop down the middle of a sheet of parchment paper, creating a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Fold the parchment over creating a sausage. Chill for at least 1 hour. At this point, the dough will keep nicely, tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month. (Thaw frozen dough at room temperature for 30 minutes.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
When the dough has chilled, remove it from the parchment, pour the remaining 1/4 cup sugar onto the work surface, and roll the log in the sugar. Using a chef's knife, slice 1/3 inch thick rounds off the log. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown around the edges, turing the cookie sheet once halfway through the baking. Remove from the oven and carefully slide the parchment directly onto a work surface. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 30 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.