Traditional Slovak Ginger Cookies.
Into a large bowl sift flour (2 cups), ground ginger (2 tbsp), baking ammonia (1/2tsp) and salt (pinch). Set aside.
At medium high speed, in a bowl of your stand mixer, using a wire attachment beat room temperature eggs (2 eggs) and powdered sugar for 10 minutes. Until thick and doubled volume and pale in color.
Into the egg mixture gradually and on medium speed beat in melted and cooled butter. Beat until well blended together. Beat in Vanilla Extract (1/4 tsp), about 2-3 minutes.
Swap out wire attachment for a paddle attachment and into the egg yolk sugar mixture gradually and on low speed beat in flour mixture. Cookie dough is dense.
TIP : If your cookie dough is too dry and is not holding together when pressed together between fingers beat in 1 tsp milk.
Roll the ginger cookie dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper or use a silicone mat. Roll it out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. TIP : Use 1/4 inch rolling guide to roll out cookie dough with an even thickness.
TIP : Zazvorniky are traditionally made using a special cutter, resembling the shape of a ginger root. If you don't have this cutter no worries you can use other shapes. I've use snowflakes, stars, trees in the past.
Transfer cut out cookie onto a tray lined with wax paper. Allow dry/rest uncovered overnight. Top of the cookies will be dry to the touch.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Using a spatula transfer cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Try not to crowd the baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until edges are well risen and cookies are lightly golden around the edges.
When you first open the oven door there will be a slight smell from the baking ammonia. This is normal. Just try not to lean towards the opened oven. No worries, cookies won't smell or taste of baker's ammonia.
TIP : Cookies shouldn't be brown when baked. Larger cookies will need to be baked for 2-3 minutes longer.
Remove baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool to on a baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store cookies in an airtight container or a paper box for 3-4 weeks. These cookies are light and crisp.
Once cookies are cooled you can drizzle them with melted chocolate. Melt about a 1 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave. Pour chocolate into a piping bag. Cut a small opening on the bag and pipe zic-zac pattern over cooled cookies. Allow chocolate to harden and then store in the container.
Zazvor means ginger in Slovak and Czech, hence the name zazvorniky.
You can use baking powder. However cookie texture may be slightly different than of those cookies made with baking ammonia. Baker’s ammonia produces a lighter, crunchier crumb than baking powder.
Occasionally you can find Baker's Ammonia at European Markets, Polish or Russian Markets often carry this old school. Your best option is obtaining if online. Baker's Ammonia at King Arthur Flour
Recipe by Hanielas.com