These are all that a ginger cookie should be - soft, chewy, crisp, and wonderfully spicy. The crystallized ginger adds depth and complexity -- don't leave it out!
Serve these with hot cider on a crisp fall day; with a scoop of lemon ice cream; dunked in cold milk; or alongside sliced apples and cheddar cheese. These are wonderful to include in Christmas packages because they ship very well.
Crystallized ginger can usually be found in the bulk food section of natural food stores, or in the jarred spice section of regular grocery stores. I have also seen "baking cut" ginger at Trader Joe's and in the King Arthur Flour catalog, which eliminates the need for chopping.
If you get the crystallized ginger in bulk, scoop some extra ginger "crumbs" from the bottom of the bin, and roll the balls of dough in this (instead of the turbinado sugar) before baking.
Tips for chopping the (very sticky) ginger: use scissors, or pulse in a food processor for 20 seconds.
Be advised that the dough must chill for an hour before shaping into balls, and again for 10 minutes before baking, so give yourself enough time.
This recipe is easily doubled (and after you taste them, you'll wish you had).
(adapted from Bon Appetit)