November 17, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I've mentioned how much I love my Martha Stewart cookbooks, and her Cookies one is no exception.  I've been making these chocolate gingerbread cookies for years now, and they are definitely one of the most popular in my Christmas spread.  This year, I'm putting together a gift basket of cookies for a fundraiser at work, baking a bit here and there and freezing them.  I'll be sure to post the M&M cookie and snickerdoodle recipes for the ones I've already made when I make another fresh batch (I froze the leftover dough- yay leftover dough).  I remembered to break out my camera today, though!

A couple notes before you start.  The dough needs to be made at least 2 hours before you plan to bake the cookies, though preferably the night before.  Also, while you might balk at buying a jar of unsulfured molasses for just one recipe, take it as an opportunity to try a new ingredient!  It is a secret weapon in chocolate chip cookies, for example.

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated peeled ginger
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water
  • 7 ounces best quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch chunks, and/or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. In a bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or just in a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer), beat the butter and fresh ginger on medium speed until lightened (about 4 minutes).  Add the brown sugar and beat until combined.  Add the molasses, and beat until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in boiling water.  I like to pop a glass bowl or measuring cup with the water in the microwave for about 40 seconds until it boils, and then just stir in the baking soda.
  4. Beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.  Beat in baking soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture.  Mix in chocolate, then turn onto plastic wrap.  Pat or roll out to 1-inch thickness.  Seal the wrap and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface, and lay down the unwrapped dough.  Using a pizza cutter, cut 1-inch strips length-wise and then cross-wise to get 1-inch cubes of dough.  Roll the dough into balls and chill in the refrigerator on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°. Roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar and arrange 2 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake until surfaces just begin to crack (10-12 minutes), rotating halfway through.  Let cool 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.  Cookies are best the day they are made, but can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.  I'm going to store mine in mason jars to seal in the amazing scent!

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