1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
4 tablespoons dark molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons peeled and grated, fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger (see note)
1/2 cup finely chopped, roasted and skinned hazelnuts
About 36 whole hazelnuts, lightly roasted and skinned
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses, blending well.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and ground ginger. Blend flour mixture with fresh ginger, crystallized ginger and chopped hazelnuts, then blend with butter mixture. Chill dough for about 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F.
Portion dough into desired-size cookies (about 1/4-cup scoops) onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving at least 1-inch space around each cookie. Press a whole hazelnut into center of each cookie, then sprinkle each portion of dough with the reserved granulated sugar (see below). Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, depending on size of cookies and desired level of crispness.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
NOTE: Look for crystallized ginger in well-stocked bulk-food sections and Asian markets. To easily chop, sprinkle ginger with some granulated sugar while chopping to keep it from sticking to your knife, then sift ginger out of sugar. Reserve sugar to coat cookies before baking.