23 December 2014

Spicy-Sweet Ginger Cookies with Chocolate




Dark chocolate and ginger; it's a specific pairing, and sometimes a perfect one. Just the heated flavors I go for this time of year when the adrenaline is high. Like those chocolate-covered candied ginger pieces, a little of each flavor alone together goes a long way. Cookie dough, however is a welcoming template for such punchy accents to spread out and mellow themselves a tad. So if you're on the lookout for a quick and kicking addition to your holiday cookie plate, give this one a try. For ginger cookie inspiration here, I turned to none other than Alice Medrich and made a few alterations. The chocolate, however, was my idea.


I adapted these cookies from Medrich's triple-ginger cookies, which have three kinds of ginger in them: ground, crystallized and fresh. And let me tell you, my favorite part of this recipe came when I grated the fresh ginger into the bowl of warm melted butter and stirred it around. A heavenly scent emerged. But as a matter of fact, everything about this one goes into the favorite category, beginning with the fact that they come together in no time, making them the perfect thing to whip up one winter vacation afternoon.


It's a hand mixed dough and doesn't even need to chill. I did freeze some of the dough balls to bake later as Medrich herself advises in all baking when possible. And since these are quite small, you'll get a lot out of the batter. As far as substitutions, I swapped out a bit of white flour for whole grain pastry, and replaced some of the crystallized ginger for dark chocolate, as I mentioned, which I shaved with a knife.


A fabulously fragrant, chewy cookie with accent and a no-frills baking affair. Now that's what I love about Medrich: precise and definitive as she is, there is also a streamlined approach. While you could easily assume that, as author of quite a few baking books and a chocolate expert, she'd require you to double sift and knead pie dough in chilled freezer bags, it's not usually so fussy. You get the feeling that she just wants something delicious in your cookie jar as soon as possible and is also able to steer you there first class. Now that's a ticket I'll hold on to. Have a lovely holiday everyone!!
 



Triple Ginger + Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Adapted from Alice Medrich


 21/4 cups
all-purpose flour (or half all purpose/half whole wheat/ pastry flour)

2tsp. baking soda

2tsp. ground ginger

tsp. ground cinnamon

½tsp. ground allspice (or half and half cloves and nutmeg)

¼tsp. salt

8Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and just warm

¼cup unsulphured mild or full-flavored molasses

½cup granulated sugar

cup (2.3 ounces) firmly packed brown sugar

2Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger root

1large egg

1/2

cup (2-4 ounces) ginger chips or crystallized ginger, finely diced or, half ginger and half 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

~Turbinado sugar for rolling (optional)
  1. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for two sheets and in the center for one sheet, and preheat to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper if baking more than one sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt, and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. Combine warm butter, molasses, both sugars, fresh ginger, and the egg in a large bowl, and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and candied ginger and chocolate if using and stir until incorporated. The dough will be soft.
  4. Form the dough into 1-inch balls (½ ounce of dough for each). Optionally roll balls in coarse sugar and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  5. Bake, rotating the sheets from back to front and top to bottom about halfway through the baking, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they puff up and crack on the surface and then begin to deflate in the oven. (For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when at least half or more of the cookies have begun to deflate; for crunchier edges with chewy centers, bake a minute or so longer.) Cool completely on racks. Store airtight. Dough balls can be frozen before rolling in sugar, and baked for a few minutes longer.

















































































































































































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