Thursday, December 17, 2015

Contest Winning Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Buon Natale! Feliz Navidad!

I made these last week for our holiday office party cookie competition and as the title suggests - won! This is a Martha Stewart recipe worth its weight in gold. I made two adjustments to the original formula, doubling the molasses and using salted butter instead of unsalted. Doubling the molasses makes for a chewier cookie. If you prefer it less so then use half the amount listed below.

I'm not gonna lie. This recipe is a commitment. There are two chilling stages and the dough requires fresh grated ginger in addition to ground as well as hand chopped semi sweet chocolate. But if you have the time they are worth it. I worried they wouldn't be pretty enough to win so I 'glued' them into a wreath shape with melted chocolate and sprinkled them with edible glitter. The glitter made it easy to tell who had eaten a cookie that day. It was EVERYWHERE. We laughed that the gents were going to have some explaining to do when they got home as to why they were covered in 'titty glitter' ;)

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Lightly adapted from Martha Stewart
*notice there are no eggs in this recipe - apparently the molasses does the job of tenderizing

7 oz semi sweet chocolate bar, hand-chopped into 1/4 inch chunks (I'm not that particular about the size - I aim to make 'chocolate rubble')
1 1/2 cups AP flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground dried ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used fresh)
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, at room temp
1 tablespoon fresh grated (peeled) ginger
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar or sanding sugar and/or edible glitter for rolling in

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. 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. 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 wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more. 
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.