Ginger Moons

With a name like China Moon Cafe, it was a delicious bit of inevitability that we would have moon-shaped cookies. These little crescent moons, flavored with a mixture of powdered and fresh ginger, have a rich brown color. Add a little dot of crystallized ginger close to the top of the crescent and you will have a “Lady in the Moon” cookie (see note at right), certain to steal a heart.

If you are selecting cookies for a cookie tray, do include these. Their unique shape and taste offer a wonderful contrast to most all of our other cookies.


  • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (all-purpose) flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup finely diced crystallized ginger (-inch bits)


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the fresh ginger, powdered ginger, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt; mix just until the dough comes together. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board, gather into a ball, and flatten slightly.
  2. Lightly dust a large piece of parchment paper with flour. Place the dough in the center and roll out to an even -inch thickness. Lightly flour the rolling pin as needed to prevent sticking. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Move an oven rack to the middle position. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Using only half of the edge of a round -inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out ¾-inch-wide (at widest point) crescent moons. Place ½ inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a tiny cube of the crystallized ginger near one tapered end.
  5. One sheet at a time, bake the cookies until the edges are lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets set on wire racks.