chewy and not so chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies

A few years ago, a dear friend gave me a copy of Martha Stewart's Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations for Christmas. To say that Martha Stewart entertains in a lavish manner is an understatement. I was looking through the book last week and realised I've not made any of the recipes. I tagged a few recipes and as the biscuit tin was looking a bit empty, I thought her recipe for chocolate gingerbread cookies sounded nice. Then I thought about a chewy triple ginger cookie recipe I really like and decided to adapt it using Martha's recipe as my inspiration.

I used half the dough and put the rest of the dough in the freeze for later. I baked a dozen cookies using dough that had chilled for just 20 minutes and those cookies came out flat and crisp. I took them into work where they were demolished, so I don't have any photos to share with you. Then I baked another 6 cookies using dough that had been in the fridge for a few hours. 

Those ones I rolled in coffee crystals. Both were delicious but the second batch of cookies came out higher and were chewy.

The third batch I made with dough that had been in the fridge for a few days. I shaped the dough into a roll about 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide, coated the roll in raw sugar then cut the dough into 1 cm slices before baking. They were really delicious and my favourite, but they weren't chewy.

These are still a work in progress as the cookie itself, though lovely and spicy, wasn't quite chocolatey enough for me. Next time I'll be bumping up the cocoa but for now I'm happy with my restocked biscuit tin.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Chewy and not so Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies - makes 3 dozen

160 gm (5½ oz) softened butter 
100 gm (3½ oz) each dark muscovado sugar and caster sugar 
60 gm (2 oz) honey or golden syrup 
1 egg 
330 gm (11½ oz) plain flour
1½ tbl dutch cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
1½ tbsp ground ginger
½ tsp each ground cinnamon and ground cloves 
40 gm (1½ oz) fresh ginger, finely grated 
30 gm (1 oz) candied ginger, finely diced
125 g (4 ½ oz) dark chocolate, cut into chunks 
pinch of salt and white pepper 
Raw sugar or coffee sugar crystals for coating 

Beat butter, sugars and golden syrup in an electric mixer until fluffy and pale (3-4 minutes). Scrape down sides of bowl, beat in egg, then sieve over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Squeeze as much juice as possible from fresh ginger into the dough (discard solids) add candied ginger, chocolate chunks and a pinch of salt and white pepper and stir to combine. The dough is quite soft so shape the dough into 2 logs; wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap before putting into the fridge to firm for a few hours. If you'd like to make crisp cookies then chill the dough for 20 minutes

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 180C°/350°F. Line baking trays with baking paper then roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls, before coating in raw sugar. If you like, you can coat the roll of cookie dough with raw sugar before slicing the roll into 1 cm slices. 

Flatten the cookies slightly before placing on the oven trays, leaving about 5cm (2 in) between each cookie to allow for spreading. Bake in the preheated oven swapping trays halfway to cook evenly. 

Bake for about 10-15 minutes. When you take the cookies from the oven they'll still be soft but will harden as they cool. Cool on trays, then store in an airtight container until required. 

Cookies will keep for 5 days.

Who doesn't like a freshly baked cookie, still warm from the oven?

I'm writing this from my sick day where I've been languishing for the past 3 days surrounded by piles of tissues. I can't wait to feel better.

See you all again soon,


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