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Entries in Ginger Chocolate Spice Cookies (1)

Saturday
Sep152012

Ginger Chocolate Spice Cookies

This is the classic, chewy, crackly cookie recipe everyone knows and loves, though my version has both clove and nutmeg in it as well.  One year, I experimented by adding just a little bit of cocoa and I was very pleased with the results. 

If you want the classic, just eliminate the cocoa and use the full two cups of flour. 

I usually make this dough in advance and chill it.  Once chilled, I roll it out into balls and then bake.  I have also kept the raw cookie balls in a bag in the freezer and rolled out a few at a time when needed. 

I struggled with this recipe for years.  They kept coming out like little cakes.  Until I found Alice Medrich's book and realized I had mistakenly written down baking powder instead of baking soda. 

Ingredients

2 cups flour, less 2 tbs
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs
¼ cup molasses
¾ cup coarse sugar (for coating)

  • In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  This is especially important for the cocoa, which tends to form hard little nuggets that need to be broken down.
  •  Melt the butter.  In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, the granulated and brown sugar, eggs, and molasses.  
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Incorporate with a wooden spoon or spatula until you can no longer see any of the dry ingredients.
  • Refrigerate the dough for an hour, or overnight.   If the dough is too hard to scoop, you will need to bring it to a chilly room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.  If you want to bake both cookie sheets at the same time, position the racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and rotate them halfway through the baking cycle.  Alternately, a convection oven will eliminate this step, or if you have a conventional oven, bake one sheet at a time.  With this short a baking cycle, it won’t take much longer.
  • Scoop the dough into balls with either a No. 50 ice cream scoop for smaller cookies (1 ½ inches), or a No. 24 for larger cookies (2 ½ inches).  Alternately, use a tablespoon of dough for the smaller cookies, and slightly less than 2 tbs of dough for the larger cookies.
  • Roll the balls in the coarse sugar and place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake 8-10 minutes for the smaller cookies, 10-12 minutes for the larger cookies, or until they puff up, crack and then deflate.  (Alice Medrich says, “For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when at least half of the cookies have begun to deflate; for crunchier edges with chewy centers, bake a minute or two longer.
  • Remove the sheets to a rack, and allow to cool only a minute or two.  With a metal spatula, remove the cookies directly on to the rack and allow to cool completely.   These cookies hold a long time stacked in an airtight container, but they usually don’t last very long at our house.