The secret ingredient to Luchetti’s chewy and subtly balanced ginger cookies, which originally appeared in her 1993 cookbook Stars Desserts, is white pepper, which supports ginger and cinnamon with a touch of heat and fragrance.
- In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Combine 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the egg and beat until mixed, then beat in the molasses until blended.
- Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. Spread the dough out onto a cookie sheet for faster chilling and refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour until firm. Divide the dough into 8-ounce pieces. Roll into logs about 11 inches long, and roll logs in sugar to prevent sticking. Refrigerate again until very firm, several hours (overnight is fine).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the remaining sugar in a bowl.
- Cut the cookies into ½-inch slices and toss them in the sugar, coating evenly, then place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart.
- Bake until golden brown and set around the edges but still soft in the middle, about 12 minutes.
- Planning Ahead: The dough may be made up to a week in advance and kept in the refrigerator. While all cookies are best the day they are baked, these hold up really well. I don’t hesitate to serve them a couple days old. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Tatiana Bautista is an assistant editor at TASTE.