I'm kind of famous for these cookies. The first version was created many years ago, when I was food editor at Martha Stewart Living. They were a favorite of the staff, and even ended up gracing the cover of an MSL cookie book.
I grew up loving a chewy crinkly molasses cookie, and it was one of my favorite childhood baking projects (when I learned that vegetable oil was not a good substitute for vegetable shortening). This version uses butter, of course, and is studded with chunks of chocolate and nubbins of chewy candied ginger that gets stuck in your teeth (in a good way). The recipe has evolved a bit from the original, and is moister and gooier.
I store a big batch of this dough in my fridge around the holidays and bake off a plate at a time to bring to parties and gatherings (warm). I like to serve them as close to baking time as possible, but of course they are still good for a few days stored in an airtight container.
This recipe was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Susan whisks, rolls, and bakes her way through this recipe, offering insider tips and backstory along the way. —Susan Spungen
3 hours 15 minutes
plus 2 tablespoons (285 grams/10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons
unsweetened cocoa powder
(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
packed light or dark brown sugar
grated fresh ginger
large egg yolks
dark chocolate chunks (chop a quality chocolate bar for the best results)
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Set aside.
With a stand or hand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the fresh ginger and egg yolks until combined. Add the molasses and vanilla, then add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until no flour pockets remain. Stir in the chocolate and candied ginger. Chill the dough until firm, at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place some granulated sugar in a bowl. Pinch off 6 pieces of dough about the size of a golf ball (about 1 1/2 ounces) and roll in the sugar. Place on a plate and freeze while the oven heats up (about 10 minutes). Roll in the sugar again and place the cookie dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, 1 sheet eat a time, rotating the pan after 5 minutes, until the tops begin to crack and the edges are just set. Be careful not to overbake. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, keeping it in the refrigerator between batches.