Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Cookies

So, I felt a little over zealous this holiday season and decided to try my hand at cookie recipe experimenting.

THIS cookie recipe was by far the easiest recipe I have ever tried. AND clean up was a snich!

I found this really intriguing sparkling ginger chip cookie recipe on 101 Cookbooks because they looked and sounded like very festive cookies! Perfect for Christmas party favors. I altered the recipe a bit according to what I felt worked best after making several batches of these delicious little morsels.

The recipe is as follows:

1/2 cup sugar crystals

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used a mix of 3oz. of dark chocolate and 3 oz. semisweet)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (You can usually find whole wheat pastry flour at your local health food stores. I substituted with unbleached all-purpose flour and that worked perfectly fine.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (I had large grain sea salt and used a mortor and pesel to grind it down, but you can always use table salt)
1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup unsulphured molasses

2/3 cup fine grain natural cane sugar, sifted (I substitued with light brown sugar)

1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, peeled

1 large egg, well beaten

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C degrees - racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line a couple baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat mat, and place the large-grain sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Finely chop the chocolate bar into almost shavings
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt.

Heat the butter in a saucepan until it is just barely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the molasses, sugar, and fresh ginger. The mixture should be warm, but not hot at this point, if it is hot to the touch let it cool a bit. Whisk in the egg. Pour this over the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate. Be careful as to not over mix. The dough should be moist but not sticky.

Per suggestion by 101 Cookbooks, I also like to make these cookies bite sized. So I divide the dough up in to half tablespoon sized balls. Then I dip one side of the ball into the large sugar crystals and roll the sugared ball lightly in my hands and then place them on to my parchment lined cookie sheets.

Place dough a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cookies puff up and darken a bit. Like baking cakes, I like to check them with a toothpick.

For me this recipe made about 45 cookies but it varies depending on how large or small you decide to make them.

VOILA! Delicious gingery cookies! Enjoy!

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