Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brown Sugar Candied Ginger Chocolate Drizzled Hearts

I’m kind of a dork. Shocker, I know.

You know that kid that gets to lecture early (sometimes before the previous lecture is done), sits in the front row, and answers the professor’s questions on occasion. Yeah, that’d be me. I’ve got glasses too – if that helps complete the picture.

See, I blame some of my dorky-ness on my need to be early. I hate, hate, HATE being late! I can’t do it. It makes me very uncomfortable – think clammy palms and dry mouth. And if for some reason I am running late, I agonize over it the whole time I am rushing to get to wherever it is I am supposed to be already. Then I arrive all sweaty and out of breath and apologize profusely for my wrong doing.

Which is why I get tripped up by this whole blog thing sometimes. It requires me to be uber on top of my schedule, food wise. I need to make themed treats well in advance so I have time to bake, photograph, eat, tweak, eat again, write and edit a post before it goes up. It’s hard to get used to making something weeks in advance. I’m not really good at it yet.

I posted a Halloween recipe the day after Halloween (fail) and kinda, sorta totally missed the boat on Thanksgiving (fail #2). I did have a post all ready for Christmas only to forget to put my memory card in my camera (fail hat trick!).  

After that mishap I vowed to do better on the next holiday, and I have been true to my word! And so, more than two weeks before Valentine’s Day I bring you Brown Sugar Candied Ginger Chocolate Drizzled Hearts (wow, that’s a mouthful)!

These cookies are chewy, sweet, and just barely spicy from the bits of candied ginger floating around. So unbelievably tasty – especially when drizzled with melted white chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate, or both! 

Brown Sugar Candied Ginger Chocolate Drizzled Hearts (makes about 3 dozen cookies, adapted from the book 500 Cookies)

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

1 egg + 1 yolk

1 cup (slightly packed) brown sugar

½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

½ - 2/3 cups crystalized ginger, chopped

4 oz. white chocolate

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

Using a mixer (or whisk) combine egg, yolk, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add butter and mix until light and fluffy.

Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar, mixing until fully incorporated. Mix in remaining flour mixture in 2 more batches, stirring well to combine. Stir in crystalized ginger.

Cover dough and chill 1 – 4 hours, or overnight.

When dough has chilled preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll out ½ of the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until about ¼ inch thick. Use heart shaped (or any shaped!) cookie cutters to cut out forms. Place cookies on prepared sheets 1 – 1 ½ inches apart.Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake in preheated oven 6 – 8 minutes, until cookies are set and bottoms are just ever, so-slightly brown.

Remove cookies to rack and allow to cool completely.

While cookies cool, melt your chocolate! Place white chocolate in microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Stir. Heat again for 10 – 15 second intervals until chocolate begins to get smooth and melty. Continue stirring to fully melt chocolate. Repeat process with Semi-sweet chocolate.

Place an inverted piping bag or zip-top bag in a tall drinking glass, fill with melted chocolate. Twist top close and snip of the corner to pipe chocolate onto cookies.

Decorate cookies with white or semi-sweet chocolate – or both! Allow chocolate to harden before placing between layers of wax paper in an airtight container.

Cookies will keep for up to 5 days.

I <3 heart-shaped cookies.

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