Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chocolate Ginger Cookies

These cookies caught my eye about 10 years ago, as baking tended to be a good way to stave off occasional weekend boredom in college. I still make them sometimes- when I remember them.

They're good, but somewhat unexpected.
At the same time they're familiar, with a warm and comforting flavor... certainly more cold weather than warm weather cookies... if anyone is willing to make cookie differentiations based on meteorologic conditions.

To some, chocolate and spices may be a strange combination, but I can say with certainty, it's not so strange in my family.

We eat very dense but not too sweet Czech torte, made with potatoes, chocolate, walnuts, and spices. It's covered in sweet vanilla buttercream. A little different, yes, and it's admittedly for the most part an acquired taste.

Align Center

As a child you eat the frosting, or you very quickly learn to eat the cake and save the frosted top for last. Hopefully no one comes along to snatch some of the precious frosting you've so carefully carved the off the so-called cake. Please, don't even think of offering to take anyone's frosting from them.
As adults, some still eat their torte like this, but we now all enjoy it immensely- especially with a cup of coffee.

Perhaps it's because tastes change as we age, perhaps it actually takes the repeated hits of the dish to your system, perhaps it's something genetic/familial/cultural, perhaps something social.
Hmmm, maybe it was something mental- I WILL eat this cake, and I WILL like it. Conquering the cake?

Anyway, in my opinion, the cookies weren't too far off the beaten path.

They have a great chewy texture, initially looking pudding-like between the cracks when you pull them from the oven. The chocolate domes deflate a little and firm up a bit as they cool.

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies
slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine, December 2001
makes about 2 dozen

1 1/2 c flour
2 T cocoa powder
1 1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter, room temperature
1 T freshly grated, peeled ginger
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c unsulfured molasses
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t boiling water
8 oz good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
1/4 c granulated sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together flour, cocoa powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and grated ginger on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar, beat until combined. Add molasses, beat until combined.
In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda into the boiling water. Beat half the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat in the baking soda water, and then add the rest of the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Mix in the chopped chocolate until distributed throughout. Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap, press into a 1 inch thick disc, wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Pinch off portions of dough and roll into balls of about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets, and place the sheets in the refrigerator 20 minutes.
Roll the balls in granulated sugar, place them back on the pans, and bake until the surfaces begin to crack, 10-12 minutes (rotate the pans halfway through).
Let the cookies cool 5 minutes on the pans, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. Mmmmmmm, chocolate and ginger, what a combination!

  2. That gooey chocolate center makes ME VERY interested!

  3. What kind of tea would you serve with these cookies?

  4. I think I would go with an unflavored black tea...