Wednesday, October 15, 2014

chocolate ginger molasses cookies.

Look, I understand that most people in this world aren't going to gravitate towards ginger molasses cookies. They aren't particularly special and they aren't chock full of chocolate.  They are a spice cookie, something that most people scoff at.

But I love them.

Let me rephrase that.  I love a very particular type of ginger molasses cookie.  One that is soft with crispy edges and a barely set center, flavorful but not overwhelmingly so.  The perfect one lives at the Bent Spoon in Princeton, NJ and I am still holding out hope that someday they will make a cookbook so I can get my hands on that recipe. Until then, I will continue to tinker in my kitchen.

And tinker I did which is how I ended up with this.  The most perfect ginger molasses cookie I have ever made. And yes, there is chocolate involved as well.

Two types of ginger, a whole lot of molasses, some cinnamon, and a generous helping of chocolate chips is what makes this cookie so excellent.  It's soft but not too soft with a deep and pronounced flavor.  It's all gorgeous and sparkly which makes it all the better.  I love consuming them now while it's fall and spiced flavors are a welcome change of pace but I am looking forward to making them again in December for my yearly holiday cookie boxes.  

Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies
Recipe adapted from Une Gamine Dans la Cusine

Makes about 20-22 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup spelt flour (or an additional ½ cup all-purpose)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup (that's one stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup tightly packed, dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses 
3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

6 ounces (about 1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup super-fine sugar (regular granulated sugar will work too)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and cocoa powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together until creamy (about 3-5 minutes on medium speed). Add molasses and fresh ginger - continue beating till well combined. 

Add the flour/spice mixture and beat on low speed until just combined (don't overmix). If the mixer is straining on low speed, use a large rubber spatula to stir in the dry ingredients - the dough will be very heavy and sticky. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pat the dough into a large ball, place the ball onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten it into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the 1/4 cup of super fine sugar (or granulated) into a large flat bowl or plate. 

Remove the chilled cookie dough from fridge and divide it into 20-22 equal chunks (use a scale to ensure they're the same size). Roll the chunks into tight balls and roll each ball through the sugar until completely coated. {Note: The dough is extremely sticky so you may have to wash your hands from time to time so it won't stick to your palms instead of itself.} Place the sugar-coated cookies onto prepared sheet and refrigerate while the oven preheats. 

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the chilled balls of dough onto the sheet, allowing for at least 2-inches of spreading room.  

Bake 10-12 minutes or until cracks begin to develop. {Note: My cookies were spot-on chewy after 10 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies, bake for the full 12 minutes.} Remove the sheet from the oven and allow cookies to rest for 5 minutes before carefully (mine were still tender) transferring to a cooling rack.

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