Sometimes life calls for baking. When I get stressed from job interviews and trying for the fifth time to make a doctor’s appointment, stepping back to measure, mix, and roll cookie dough in sugar helps bring the chaos of my life back under control. Running through the hills also helps. I captured this lovely image on my iphone while hitting the slopes yesterday. Something about these trees and the early morning makes me feel calm even when I’ve got Sonic Youth pumping though my earbuds and I’m charging up an impossibly steep road.
I was looking for a recipe with a twist when I came across Heidi’s recipe for ginger cookies with chocolate–a surefire win to any cookie is the addition of chocolate. Armed with two types of ginger and a healthy chunk of a Trader Joe’s pound plus bar, I set to baking and making my apartment smell like Christmas. These cookies are chewy because of the brown sugar and crunchy from being coated in turbinado sugar. They are dark from the chocolate and molasses and refreshing from the ginger. They are the perfect compliment to a cup of tea after dinner–or coffee if you can handle your caffeine at night. I, for one, cannot and stick to decaf after four o’clock.
Sparkling Ginger Cookies
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate–chopped
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2/3 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 large egg beaten
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and preparing two baking sheets by covering them in parchment paper. Place the turbinado sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and ground ginger in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot on the stove until just melted, then remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, fresh ginger, and molasses. Make sure that the mixture is not still piping hot and then mix in the egg. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of dough and roll in the turbinado sugar, covering each ball of dough completely in the sparkling sugar. Place cookies on the cookie sheets two to three inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. The cookies are done when they are slightly puffy and the edges are set. Allow to cool on the baking sheets and enjoy!
Makes approximately two dozen cookies.
Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks