These cookies are half a foot in diameter and crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. The amount of molasses and spices may seem overwhelming, but they mellow out once baked for a perfectly balanced flavor, the fresh ginger adding a refreshing hit of spice.
Don’t rush these cookies; they need a full overnight stint in the freezer to give the molasses time to neutralize any chemical flavor in the baking soda. Additionally, use bread flour for these cookies. It has the high protein needed to build a cookie that doesn’t bend or break from the weight of all the other ingredients.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the butter, sugar and molasses and beat on medium speed until fluffy and creamy, about 3 minutes. Using a large silicone spatula, scrape down the paddle and bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each before adding the next. Add the fresh and ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and salt and beat until well mixed. Drizzle in the vinegar and mix until incorporated. Scrape the dough off the paddle, then remove it from the stand mixer; scrape down the bowl as well.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of dough (it will look like all the flour won’t fit in your mixer bowl, but it will), then attach the dough hook to the mixer. Mix on low speed until all the flour is absorbed into the dough. Scrape the dough off the hook and scrape down the bowl. If you don’t have a dough hook attachment, stir the dry ingredients in with a wooden spoon and a lot of elbow grease.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 4-ounce cookie scoop or 1/2-cup measuring cup, scoop out level portions of dough and arrange on the prepared baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart. Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten each cookie roughly into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap the baking sheets in plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight or up to 5 days.
Arrange oven racks in the upper and lower thirds, then heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets (at least 13 by 18 inches) with parchment paper.
Remove 6 cookie disks from the freezer. Pour the turbinado sugar into a shallow dish; then, working one at a time, coat the top, bottom and sides of each cookie in the sugar, pressing if needed to make the sugar adhere. Arrange 3 cookies on each baking sheet, spacing them out evenly; they will spread quite a bit.
Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through cooking, until they spread out and are deep golden brown at the edges, and light golden and just set on top, 17 to 18 minutes. The top of the very center will look slightly underdone, but this is normal; the cookies will continue to cook through slightly while they cool. As you take the baking sheets out of the oven, firmly rap them against the counter to deflate the cookies.
Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let the cookies cool completely on the sheets. Repeat to bake the remaining cookies.
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