Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Tis the Season!

You probably do not need any more cookies this season (my December habits treat desserts as a solid food group) but in my mind everyone needs another cookie recipe. Especially a good one where the dough can linger in the fridge, so you can bake off a few each day, creating an ooey gooey dessert while watching your favorite holiday movies. Or you know, something like that.

These cookies combine two holiday classics, chocolate and gingerbread, although I have never thought to put the two together. How is this possible? Why are we not adding chocolate ganache glazes to gingerbread bundt cakes, and why has it taken me so long in my life to realize this a most delicious combination? 

This recipe is from my all-time favorite cookie book by Martha Stewart and is actually featured on the cover. The best part about this book? The table of contents is just cookie pictures, so you can make your baking decision visually - a huge highlight. The cookies are also divided by texture so you can decide...do you want thin and crisp? Cakey? Perhaps chewy? It's brilliant!

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
From Martha Stewart Cookies by Martha Stewart

Makes 2 dozen

7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate (60% - I used Scharffen Berger)
1 1/2 c. plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar

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

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes (I think the key to cookies is in this step! Really beat the butter well). Add brown sugar and beat until combined. Then, add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 tsp. boiling water. Slowly mix half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Do not over mix (this is the other key step). Slowly, mix in chocolate until just distributed. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and pat out to about 1 inch thick disc. Seal with wrap and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more. (I left mine at this stage in the fridge for a few days, baking off cookies as I needed/wanted them).

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1.5 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 (don't over bake - these are a chewy cookie). Let cool 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

PS. Love holiday cookies? This episode of the podcast Spilled Milk is all about them - plus they talk the best ways to store cookies so they don't end up a pulverized mess in a ziplock baggie!