Sourdough for dessert? You betcha! This recipe uses tangy sourdough starter or discard as the base for delicious ginger spiced cookies perfect for the holiday season.
If you have a sourdough pot you are always on the lookout for new ways to use up excess starter. Bread, pancakes, waffles even muffins, are all delicious with the tangy addition of sourdough starter. But cookies? It wasn't my first thought either.
The recipe is based on one in an older edition of Alaska Sourdough by Ruth Allman. It was a gift from my mom who lived in Alaska pre-statehood. If you are going to get into sourdough baking I highly recommend this one to learn more about the pioneer uses of sourdough.
About Sourdough Starter
Long before sourdough became trendy it was the leavener of choice for pioneers, miners and other homesteaders. None of this "hydration" talk or "discarding" starter nonsense (throw away food?! heaven forbid!). You used it to cook with regularly and always saved a bit to keep the starter going for the next recipe.
If you do not have sourdough starter ask around to see if you can get some. Sourdough fans love to share starter, knowledge and recipes. Or you can make your own (it will take a week or more) with these easy instructions from Erin at The Spiffy Cookie.
Can you use sourdough discard? I am not a big fan of the term "discard". But, yes, you can. The sourdough is here for taste, the leavening comes from the baking soda.
Christmas Cookies WeekWelcome to #ChristmasCookies Week! That time of year when we soften the butter, fire up the oven, and make cookie trays for family, friends, and neighbors. This year more than 20 top-notch bloggers are sharing their very favorite creations for all to make and enjoy. Join us for a week’s worth of Christmas cookie deliciousness.
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- Cherry Vanilla Pinwheels by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Cherry Wink Cookies by An Affair from the Heart
- Chewy Frosted Christmas Blondie Cookie Bar by Red Cottage Chronicles
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- Chocolate Mint-Filled Cookies by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies by Art of Natural Living
- Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies by Hostess At Heart
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- Gingerdoodles by Magical Ingredients
- Gingerbread Magic Cookie Bars by Family Around the Table
- Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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- Grinch Cookie Recipe by Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
- Nut-Free Snowball Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles by Christmas Tree Lane
- Raspberry Pistachio Thumbprints by Sweet Beginnings
- Rosewater Pistachio Snowball Cookies by The Spiffy Cookie
- Sourdough Ginger Cookies by That Recipe
- Toffee Bars by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Whipped Shortbread Cookies by Blogghetti
- ½ cup shortening
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon peel
- ½ cup sourdough
- 3½ cups flour (more or less)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 8 ounces white candy melts (or other color) (optional)
- In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar and shortening. Add molasses, egg and orange rind beating until smooth. Mix in sourdough.
- Beat in 3 cups flour, baking soda and spices. Add enough extra flour to make a soft dough. It should be soft, but not sticky.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Roll out the dough on a floured board to about ⅛ inch. Cut with cookie cutters, or in circles with a biscuit cutter or glass. Place on baking sheet 1 inch apart.
- Bake until the middles are set, about 10 minutes. Move cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Optional: melt candy coating per package directions. Add a little of each of the spices above. Dip each cookie halfway in the coating and set on waxed paper to set.
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More Sourdough Recipes
Until next time, happy eating!