Chocolate is the crashing wave sweeping over February with its oh-so-sweet romantic rush, but it's not your only edible option for an outpouring of love.
Fruit has a sweetness all its own.
This Ginger and Pear Cookie recipe is inspired by the Girls With Slingshots romantic comedy webcomic by Danielle Corsetto, where a reader recently contributed a version that starts with a sugar cookie mix. (That recipe is available here: http://www.girlswithslingshots.com/comic/ask-the-cast-4-2013--ginger-pear-cookie-recipe.)
Small, sweet Seckel pears — sometimes called dessert pears — add lushness to these sugar cookies. Golden raisins bring a satisfying chewiness.
Making the perfect cookie takes a little bit of cookie know-how, since the right amount of flour depends on the juiciness of the pears used. Keep an eye on the thickness of the dough while adding the flour, and aim for a consistency that holds its shape when scooped up.
Ginger and Pear Cookies
1/4 cup (half-stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup grated pear (about 2 Seckel pears)
2 3/4 cups flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add egg and beat well. Add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and grated pear and mix well.
Combine 2 cups of flour with baking soda and salt. Add to pear mixture and beat until combined. The dough at this point will look more like quick bread batter.
Continue adding flour, one tablespoon at a time up to 3/4 cup, until dough reaches drop cookie consistency. The more ripe and juicy the pears, the more flour will be needed to balance out the excess liquid.
Add raisins and mix until just combined.
Using a small cookie scoop or a heaping teaspoon, drop cookies onto parchment-lined or greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Makes 48 cookies.
— Reach Mel Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org.