Sometimes a night in with friends is what you need. Ideally, these sorts of gatherings should involve a plethora of mini sandwiches and spiked libations…maybe even a little illicit cross-stich art for good measure. Hopefully, a kitchen dance party will erupt, followed by girl-talk, then more dancing. Sometimes that is exactly what you need to remind you that good times are to be had…even if you go to bed with the threat of a headache and need an evening nap the next day, it’s still a breath of fresh air and totally worth it.
Sometimes you just need all of that, but, sometimes in a pinch a cookie will do.
These cookies are an ultra-spiced, chewy, chocolate delight. Cocoa and shards of chocolate add depth and smooth richness. A gang of spices, plus candied ginger, add heat and excitement. Sparkly and fragrant cinnamon sugar bring crunch and texture to the party. These sweetly-spiced cookies are similar to one of my favorites, but with an added layer of depth from the cocoa. The combination of spices in this cookie is pretty bold and literally spicy–these are not for the shy, but perfect for the adventurous and brave.
Chewy Chocolate Ginger-Spice Cookies
Makes 24-30 cookies.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
The dough for these chewy gems has to be chilled before baking and I would suggest placing the remaining dough in the refrigerator between batches, as well. Also, there are two forms of chocolate in this cookie, as well as three incarnations of ginger, PLUS cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and black pepper. One could dial back the spices, but I think these cookies are made different because of the boldness of the spices. As always, I encourage you to make these your own, so if super spiced baked goods aren’t your game, then definitely begin by reducing each spice by half. These cookies are great for cookie jars and will keep at room temperature for several days.
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh, grated ginger
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground, dried ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground, black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch of salt (scant 1/4 teaspoon)
1/4 cup chopped, candied ginger
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon, for rolling
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar until creamy and combined well. Add the fresh ginger, molasses, and vanilla, mix to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cocoa, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and pulse until just combined. Fold in the candied ginger and chopped chocolate. Cover and chill the dough for at least 2 hours, or until very firm.
Preheat oven to 325*F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
Scoop dough (I used a 1 1/2 inch disher/levered scoop) into rounds and roll into a ball. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar and place on baking sheets spaced about 1-2 inches apart–as the cookies will spread. Working with 1 sheet at a time, flatten the top of each cookie and chill for 10 minutes before baking in the center of the oven for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan about 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.