Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

In honor of Christmas cookie season, I thought I should post one of my favorite recipes from last Christmas - Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies.

The thing that made me remember this recipe - apart from it's chocolaty chewy goodness - was that it calls for cutting up a chocolate bar rather than just pouring in a bag of chocolate chips. Here in Denmark it's really hard to find chocolate chips. They have them but they come in tiny little bags and cost about $4. But I knew from making this recipe last year that all you need is a chocolate bar and a knife. Though if you want to save yourself five minutes and just dump in the chocolate chips, I won't tell Martha.

I also won't tell Martha if you decide not to grate fresh ginger for the recipe. I did this the first time I made the recipe as part of a Ragamuffin Cooking Club cookie exchange - our unofficial motto is "You've Got to Bring Your A-Game to Cooking Club" - but I thought it made the ginger flavor almost overwhelmingly.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
From good ol' Martha
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
[or substitute with an additional 3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger added to dry mix]
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for dipping)

1. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water
[Does anyone know why you'd do this?]. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Roll dough into 2-inch balls; place 2 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and return to baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake until surfaces crack slightly, about 18 minutes [basically, as soon as the surface cracks - pull them out of the oven. Otherwise they won't be as chewy]. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield 2 dozen


David said...

I'm in the middle of completing a paper on Johannes and Dietrich Buxtehude, organists from about 30 miles north of where you are: Helsingør and (across the water) Helsingborg. Thought about you guys out there this morning! Keep up the good work on the blog. I sure enjoy the posts. And Merry Christmas to you guys, if I don't get a chance to say so again before the Holiday.

Phil P. said...

So my exhortation is now our motto? :)

BTW, I recommend always using fresh ginger; just be careful not to use a lot--I hate using the powder because it tastes nothing like real ginger, a fact I didn't realize until I actually tried cooking with real ginger!

Also, we'll miss you at ollie bollen time! Maybe you'll have to make a quick trip over to the Motherland and see if anyone there is actually making ollie bollen on New Year's.

Rebekah said...

David - Yes, Helsingør isn't far from Copenhagen. How interesting that you're studying our new neck of the woods! The Danish Lutheran church where our church holds services has a large collection of organs they have gathered from smaller folk churches. Last year when we were here, we attended a organ jazz concert that played each one of the organs.

Rebekah said...

Phil, you are such a purist. ;) I just remember being overwhelmed by the ginger flavor in the cookies with a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger on top of the ground ginger.

I certainly took your exhortation to heart! I can't tell you how many times I was planning to cut a corner until "bring your A-Game!" floated through my memory! ;)

Rebekah said...

Oh and Phil - we'll miss olle bollen this year too. I did discover the Danish version of fried dough: Æbleskiver.

Hallie said...


Heather said...

Rebekah, those were such good cookies, I remember them even a year later. We missed you all this year at the cookie exchange. *hugs*

P.S. I made Banana Rum oatmeal raisin cookies (from a Cooking Light recipe), and I was not at all impressed with them.