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These easy-to-roll cookies are assertively spiced, with the added kick of crystallized ginger.
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) soft diced ginger (a cross between crystallized ginger and ginger in syrup; if unavailable, use crystallized ginger, minced very fine)
2 1/2 cups (10 5/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (6 ounces)light molasses (for a lighter dough, use 1/4 cup molasses and 1/4 cup corn syrup)
Cream the butter, sugar, spices, salt, and baking soda until well blended. Beat in the egg and ginger, then the flour, alternately with the molasses. Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or overnight; it needs to be stiff enough to handle easily.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Roll half the dough about 1/4-inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into whatever shapes you like. Transfer cookies to an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they're puffy, and the edges are firm. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Yield: 4 dozen cookies, depending on size.