chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yesterday I:

*Vacuumed up my body weight in dog hair.
*Didn't get a job I absolutely should've gotten really would have enjoyed.
*Was yelled at by a guy after he cut me off in traffic.
*Stepped over the eyesore that is my neighbor's discarded mattress more than once.

I also encountered in my travels:

*A homeless man wearing a Dunkin Donuts box as a hat.
*A lady with ginormous acrylics pushing two small dogs in an expensive baby carriage.
*A teenager sitting next to me in the carwash-waiting-area eating a salad that smelled like raw hot dogs.
*A hipster wearing a rice paddy hat with a straight face.

I also:

*Shared a sweet smile with a stranger.
*Had lunch with a new friend that feels like an old one.
*Felt such a full and grateful heart for people in this business who extend kindnesses.
*Magically brought an orchid back to life for the first time (!!!!!)

Life is a mixed bag, no?  Kinda spicy and sweet.

Despite the craziness, I'm happy to say I'm in a place right now of going with the flow. I'm surrendering to it all: the lovely, the ugly, the silly, even the mundane. Saying yes to all of it. Because you need the mundane to measure the exciting. And the sorrow to measure the joy.

So far so good. Cookies certainly help the going-with-the-flow-ness. Don't you find that to be true?

Sometimes you need a cookie:

*To celebrate the good.
*To sugarcoat the bad.
*Because you need something to depend on when people are wearing donut boxes as hats.

I am very biased in the field of cookies. I haven't met too many cookies I've not made fast friends with. That said, these cookies might be my Most Favorite Cookies of All. So that's saying a LOT. If you like autumn and ginger and molasses and dark chocolate, you will fall in total lust with these. They are a little spicy, a little sweet, a little dark and a lot complex.

Like life rolled up in a cookie.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
yields about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups plus 1 T all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 T cocoa powder
1 stick (8T) unsalted butter
1 T minced fresh ginger
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t boiling water
8 oz. great quality semi-sweet chocolate (I love Ghirardelli dark chips or the Whole Foods brand 70% cacao mini dark chocolate chunks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for rolling in before baking)

Combine the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa powder and mix well.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown sugar, butter, fresh ginger and salt (I like putting the salt in at this point so it can dissolve).  Add the molasses and mix to combine.  In a small bowl, combine the baking soda with the boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Bit by bit add half of the flour mixture, then the baking soda/water combination, then the second half of the flour mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix again until all flour is incorporated and then add the chocolate and stir to combine.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Heat oven to 350.  Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Bake 2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies crack slightly.  Cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Happy Thursday


  1. The cookie recipe looks great, BUT (and there is always a big butt), your reflections on life were even better. I love how you tied your life to your cookies. It reminds me of the book, "Like Water for Chocolate".

  2. I love you Jolie! Thanks once again for brightening my day with your witty and insightful brand of humor.

  3. I really enjoy your blog. Like a lot. Thanks for making my day a little brighter by your loveliness! :) xoxo

  4. I am going to try these cookies this weekend. They look yummy! Thank you for sharing.

  5. I had to laugh. I just saw a guy yesterday in our little downtown wearing a trader joe's bag on his head as an umbrella. I thought to myself, "now that is upcycled!" Ha!!

  6. These are MY all-time faves, too! I am evangelical about them and push them on everyone I meet...super cute blog...found you via Alicia Paulson!

  7. These cookies may supplant my triple ginger TJ's counterfeit. Great photography.
    Easy way to skin ginger: scrape with the bowl of spoon.

  8. What would happen if you didn't have 2 hours to chill them - and just scooped them onto a sheet and bake? Would it turn into a giant puddle?

    1. They'll spread out a little but will still be equally delicious!

    2. Sweet! Making them tonight then! Thanks so much!


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