Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe makes BEAUTIFUL cookies, especially when understated with a simple white frosting.  These cookies are elegant looking and tasting- they aren't gaudy and sweet but more subtle and deep flavored. They are on the drier side and so, are best suited to eat with a nice hot cup of cocoa, coffee or tea.

You'll need:

5 T unsalted butter, softened 
1/3 c.solid vegetable shortening 
1/2 c. (packed) dark brown sugar 
1 egg
1/2 c. molasses 
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
 3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 T ground ginger 
2 t. ground cinnamon 
1 t. ground cloves 
1 T baking soda 
1/2 t. baking powder 
1 t. salt

What you do:

1) Cream brown sugar, shortening and butter.  Add egg, mix well. Add chocolate, mix well.

2) Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl if you want.  Or in the "wet" ingredients if you are lazy.  (I won't tell.)  I usually DO use a separate bowl for this sort of thing since I want the spices to be uniform throughout.  You can mix the dry ingredients into the wet in two different steps to keep flour from flying.
3)  Form dough into a ball, over with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so.

4) When thoroughly chilled, roll out dough to baout 1/4 inch- cut with cookie cutters and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, until the tops look dryish.  

5) Let cookies cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.  

6) Decorate as you see fit.  I used my buttercream frosting made a bit stiffer with more confectionary sugar (because I don't care much for the flavor of royal icing). 

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