Monday, December 22, 2008

Ginger-lime poppyseed drop cookies

I really don't bake that often. In fact, almost never.
But there's something about December that has me routinely showing up at dinner parties with warm, buttery cookies in hand. It's something about the season (or perhaps my overwhelming desire to celebrate Christmas?)
Mostly, it just strikes me as the right thing to do.
And while I'm not normally a citrus-minded cookie kind of gal either, I was sent these Gourmet Garden refrigerated tubes of everything from fresh garlic to basil, cilantro to chili (I think, all told, there are 10 varieties) along with recipes suggesting how one might use them.
A lemongrass ginger cookie caught my eye, especially since I had to make cookies for a Chanukah party that was being attended by a relative with a nut allergy. 
I've got to admit that I found these herbaceous tubes a bit suspect at first. But then I tried them. And you know what? They're the next best thing to being there. Besides, why rasp when you can squirt?
I tinkered with their cookie recipe because I have an annoying habit of tinkering with other people's recipes. I doubled the fresh ginger, and added some ground ginger too. I ditched the lemongrass but added lime zest, plus vanilla and a big scoop of poppyseeds. 
My cookies turned out to be what I think are a good compromise of everyday exotic coupled with a soupcon of Jewish. 
In other words, Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!
(Makes about 2 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
4 tsp Gourmet Garden Ginger (or fresh rasped ginger)
1 tsp ground (dry) ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp fresh lime zest (about the zest from 1 small lime)
1/4 cup poppyseeds
1- 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
confectioner's (icing) sugar for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in egg, gingers, vanilla, zest and poppyseeds until well combined.
Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until a dough forms.
Scoop cookie dough by the teaspoon and drop onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Cool and dust with confectioner's sugar.

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