CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD COOKIES
adapted from http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate_gingerbread_cookies/
yield: 3 dozen cookies
Note: The dough for these cookies needs to be refrigerated overnight (or for at least several hours).
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 t. ground ginger
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 cup dark, full, or robust molasses (NOT "blackstrap")
1 T. fresh grated ginger
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T. Dutch-processed cocoa
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
about 1/4 c. white granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies
Cream the butter, then add in brown sugar, spices, salt, and baking soda. Cream all together until they form a uniform colored paste.
Add the molasses and fresh grated ginger and beat to incorporate. Add the flour and cocoa, beating until there are no streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed through the dough. The dough will be soft and sticky.
Scrape the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle, about 1-inch thick, then tightly wrap with the plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least several hours).
Preheat the oven to 325.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the granulated sugar into a small bowl (for rolling balls of dough). Cut the flattened slab of dough into 1-inch cubes. Roll each cube into a ball between your palms, then roll the ball in the sugar to coat. Transfer to the baking sheets, placing no more than 20 cookies on a large sheet, as the cookies will spread. I bake one sheet at a time. While one sheet is baking, I form the other cookies, putting them on a parchment-lined plate in the refrigerator to keep chilled while the first batch is baking.
Bake the cookies for about 14 minutes, or until the top of the cookies have started to crack slightly. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.