For some reason I have whole wheat flour and bread flour, but not AP flour. What can I say, you walk into Whole Foods with a paycheck one day and you walk out thinking you're freakin Jaques Torres. But anyway, dear Alton Brown from Food Network reassured me that wouldn't be a problem. So use either flour, AP is definitely better, bread flour will just yield a more chewy and dense cookie. Then, I had only half a stick of butter. Again, rice all week, what can I say. So I ended up having to divide the whole recipe in half. Oh well. But to top it all off, I had no molasses! Its like twelve bucks in NYC, so there was no chance of scavenging through laundry and couches, the pennies would have never added up. Racking my brain, I remembered I had the most amazing maple caramel concoction that I brought back from Montreal. And of course, you can sub honey for molasses since brown sugar was already in the recipe...so I used both! Honey maple caramel cookies with chocolate chips and a pinch of gingerbread flavor? Uh hell yeah!
Now I know you all voted for the French mille crepes cake recipe in the poll below, with red velvet coming to a close second. Gingerbread cookies weren't even close. I tried, really I did. But the ingredients for those were too expensive. So next weekend, I'll make both to redeem myself! Till then...
Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
makes 2 dozen
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 freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick or 1/4 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon freshly grated peeled ginger root
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (dark preferred)
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon boiling water
7 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about half a bag or just under 1 cup)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
- Sift together the flour, powdered ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and fresh ginger until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar, beat until combined. Add molasses and beat until combined.
- In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Set aside.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat in the dissolved baking soda. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and pat down into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Chill dough in the refrigerator (wrapped in plastic) for 2 hours or overnight, until firm. [Note: 2 hours wasn't really long enough for the dough to firm up. I learned my lesson and let it sit overnight this time!].
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Refrigerate baking sheets and dough balls for 20 minutes.
- Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and return to baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until surfaces crack slightly. If baking both sheets of cookies at the same time, rotate the sheets about halfway through. Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Send them away before you eat them all yourself.
...crap, no milk!!
Hmmm, the bread flour really doesn't work for this unless its made exclusively for a recipe that calls for it, so don't substitute. And molasses is what gives this famous cookie its famous color, so also honey didn't really help there either. In all, stick to the original plan. I'll start adaptations when I get on Julia Child's level!
Okay I'm back! After making these for the second time (August 2010) I think...no I am certain, these are the BEST DAMN COOKIES I have ever had. When following the recipe closely, I churned out the most beautiful homemade cookies I thought I could ever make. Beautiful and rich dark molasses color with the sweet sugar crust and chewy center. I had some last night with milk. Perfection! Pleaseeee make these!