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Lavahome Very Strong Ginger Cookies (aka Ginger Bread)

This ginger bread cookie recipe is VERY strongly flavored, designed to keep consumption of the final cookie down to below 5 grams of dry finished product. Tiny squares, each with a cinnamon redhot candy. Functional recipe for hiding bitter or strong herbal flavors, such as medicinal plant extracts.

Large batch (half sheet pan about 1/2" thick before cooking)

* 2 sticks butter
* 1.5 cups brown sugar
* 12 ounces (one US jar) of dark molasses
* 4 tsp ground cloves
* 8 over heaping tablespoons of ginger powder (buy bulk)
* 1.5 heaping tsp salt
* 1.5 tsp black pepper (fresh ground)
* 7 heaping tsp cinnamon 
* 5-10 tablespoons of water (added as necessary to make a ginger bread-type dough)
* 5 tsp baking soda (here! don't wait!)
* 5 cups flour (usually half whole wheat, half bread/multi) 
* Lots of cinnamon red hots.  Hundreds. One for every square centimeter of surface.
* 12-ish grams of herbal component for herbal extract (see below)
* Oven : 385F for 16 minutes (12-20 minutes, see below)
* Total final dry mass: ~ 2200 grams 


* Fresh ginger grated or minced 2 ounces 
* Candied ginger minced  (not a great idea for herbal) 

Should act like ginger bread dough, not batter. We mix until dough-like and then roll and knead it until it's bready. Then plop onto a half baking pan (about 12 x 18) with sides. Depending on the recipe size (half is a good size), it will either fill the pan or not. If it doesn't fill the sheet evenly, push the edges up to make them more consistently-thick to reduce black-burned edges.

Flour Choice: We prefer half strong whole wheat and half bread or multipurpose. We've done many batches with all whole wheat and it doesn't rise as much, so generally roll it thicker. We've tried and rejected whole wheat pastry flour, it just isn't really necessary, since this is a brutish gingerbread cookie.

Cooktime: We shoot for 385F and around 15-18 minutes. Our oven temp is really poorly regulated, so we have to be conservative. The dough is very dark brown and it's hard to see the browning as it happens on the crust. So we do this ginger bread at 385 for 12 minutes, check, then 4 minutes and check, then 2 minute checks until it's browned but not burned. We've burned these a dozen times and the strong flavor can overwhelm the burned bread flavor.

Herbal Extracts: Any strong herbal extracts should be done in the butter if fat-soluble and in 5-10 tablespoons of water if water-soluble.

Lavahome has been making ginger cookies