Thursday, September 9, 2010

GINGER CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Note: Because they’re less visible in a cookie and offer more of a surprise flavor combo, mini-chips are a great choice in this dessert.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies, serving size 2 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (10-ounce) package semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup granulated sugar

Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Use an electric mixer to combine the shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the molasses and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture in 3 additions. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or Silpat liners). Roll the dough into 2-inch balls and place onto baking sheets. Chill one pan while you prepare the second. Remove the first batch from the refrigerator. Roll each ball in granulated sugar. Use the bottom of a glass to push the balls into disks about ½-inch thick. Bake the cookies until the bottoms just begin to turn golden, about 12 minutes. The cookies will not change shape after they bake. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

On Shopping Day: Make the cookie dough and divide into two disks. Cover with plastic wrap. Place 1 into a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Place the second disk into the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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