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there is an incredible community of food businesses in ann arbor known to many. i used to work at that food metropolis known as zingermans, and when i moved on found myself constantly missing their ginger jump-ups. thankfully, i wasn't alone! a friend's mother altered some recipes to end at this one, and it really brings me back. these are moist, spicy, and just sweet enough -- one of my go to cookie recipes! 



1/3 cup cane sugar

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1/4 teaspoon table salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 

1 large egg yolk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 cup blackstrap molasses

2/3 cup candied ginger, finely chopped  

1 cup turbinado sugar  


whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.

beat butter with brown and granulated sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add yolk and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. add molasses and beat until fully incorporated. 

reduce mixer to lowest speed and add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. the dough will be soft.

place turbinado sugar in a small bowl. scoop a heaping spoonful of dough and roll between palms into a ball. drop ball into bowl and toss to cover with sugar. set finished cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat about two inches apart. 

bake at 375 until cookies are slightly browned, yet still puffy. they may look slightly raw between the cracks, but don't worry! bake them longer and they'll lose their softness. baking time will be about 11 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of your cookies. 

cool on baking sheet for five minutes then transfer to wire cooling rack. try not to eat them all before they cool completely!