Teambuilding-Unlimited. As part of their philanthropic holiday parties, many of my clients choose to decorate Gingerbread Cookies and donate them to food banks, the VA, children's and senior centers. We actually have my favorite bakery make the undecorated cookies, and then we bring in all the royal icing and other decorating items the groups will need. It's a fun activity for everyone.
However, for my own baking, there's nothing like the taste of Martha Stewart's Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. OMG! What really makes this recipe and the final results so great is the use of fresh and ground ginger! Fabulous! This will become a staple on your holiday cookie list!
CHEWY CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD COOKIES
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
8 tablespoons sweet butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses (the type you use will affect taste)
1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolve in 1 1/2 tsp boiling water)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours (3 hours to overnight is better)
4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll balls in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.