Monday, November 11, 2013

heidi swanson's sparkling ginger cookies

For no discernible reason, I was determined to bake cookies today. Not just any cookies, but a version of Heidi Swanson's sparkling ginger chip cookies. Really, this was totally irresponsible of me. Finals are approaching; I have research to do; it's probably unhealthy to spend so much time/money at Whole Foods; I don't really need my dorm room stacked high with piles of cookies.

And yet.

I saw these cookies and thought they seemed perfect for fall. Lots of ginger (both ground and fresh) with some chocolate thrown in for good measure. Also, I reasoned that I could fob them off on some classmates I have coming over to my place later this week to work on a group project.

I made a few changes to the recipe, including using spelt flour instead of whole-wheat pastry flour and chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate. For some reason chopped chocolate in cookies kind of bums me out- I like pockets of chocolate in my cookies rather than just traces. Everything came together smoothly, though the dough was extremely tacky and I ended up slipping in a couple of extra tablespoons of spelt flour before folding the chocolate in. I also let the dough sit in the refrigerator for 20 or so minutes before getting ready to bake it- chilling the dough made it a lot easier to roll into balls and drag through the turbinado sugar.

And I have to report that they are terrific- chocolate-y with a kick from the ginger and some crunch from the turbinado sugar. An lovely mid-afternoon treat with a cup of tea. 

Sparkling ginger chip cookies, adapted from Heidi Swanson
2 cups plus 2 tbsp spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2/3 cup cane sugar
1 1/2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 egg
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)

Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ground ginger and salt. Set aside. Heat the butter in a small saucepan until just melted, remove from heat, then stir in the cane sugar, molasses, and fresh ginger. Whisk in the egg and then pour the mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Put the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Take 1/2 tbsp scoops of the dough, roll into balls and then lightly roll through the turbinado sugar to coat. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

Makes 48 small cookies.

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