Aka: "My New Favorite Cookie"
I know it hasn’t kicked in for some of you, but my cravings for fall food have already begun.
Summer’s a fine time to sun yourself and grill everything in your refrigerator, but the truth of the matter is, my desire level to bake during the summer sits at a pathetic “1.4”. It’s not so much the heat that gets me during the Norwegian summer, as we’ve rarely had a day over 80 Fahrenheit, so much as the fact that all my favorite flavors seem out-of-place in the summer. You see, I’m an apple and spice kind of girl. Ginger cookies, rye bread, and apple orchard crisp are the foundation of my being as a baker, and it just doesn’t seem right to make any of those things during the summer months.
Of course, I haven’t forgotten about all the great summer berries. The wild mountain blueberries, the early juicy strawberries, the jewel red currants tempting me from the neighbor’s yard... they all become things I dream of during the long and dark Norwegian winter. I guess the difference is, it’s fairly easy to get domestic and do a little canning in August, so that you can enjoy the summer bounty in the berryless fall and winter months, while all you can do during the warm months is pretend to love all things summer.
But I do have a point to all this rambling. And my point is, the first fall breeze has hit, and instead of crying while I pack away all my hot pants and tube tops (sure, my closest is just full of them), I rejoice and I bake.
I bake fall cookies, cookies that yearn for a cup of hot cider or coffee. I bake cookies that make you think a little bit about fall, but also start to put you in that Christmas cookie mood. Picture your favorite ginger cookie infused with a little cocoa and chunks of bittersweet chocolate. Sounds a little nutty, a little too much??? Believe me, it’s not. In fact, it’ such a good combination, that I declared it my new favorite cookie on my Facebook profile. And we all know that if you share a piece of news with 250 of your most random acquaintances , that it must be true. Right?
Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this recipe. So I’ll give credit to where credit is do...this is a Martha Stewart recipe. The good thing with Martha recipes, is that they’re consistently easy to follow and produce good results. Try this one out and tell me you don’t agree.
“Fall is Approaching” Chocolate Ginger Cookies
Recipe adapted from marthastewart.com
Makes 2 dozen
7 ounces (200g) good semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 1/2 cups (200g) flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick/115g) unsalted butter, softened (I actually used salted with great results)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup (120 g) brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (0,6 dl) unsulfured (blackstrap )molasses- Martha recommends using a full 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar for rolling
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and grated ginger well. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chopped chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
4. Heat oven to 325F/160C degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes, slightly longer if you like a crispy cookie. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.