Chocolate Ginger Chewy Cookies
So, when I was growing up, my mum had some very strict rules with my brother and I. I wouldn't say she was "tiger mum" level, I now know that being an early immigrant in a foreign country naturally creates a certain culture in families like us to teach the values of hard work and discipline (my parents✈️ to Sydney from Seoul with us little ones when they were practically my age now).
I won't deny that it pained me much having to rub out my answers in my homework book because she made me do the exercises twice. It didn't help that I had cried over the book so the wet paper just kind of rubbed off along with the big ass eraser at the same time. I think I was about 8?
Oh. And how she used to make me recite the multiplication table out loud with every step as I passed through the corridors at the age of 6.
All I wanted to do was catch worms and lizards in our backyard and stick them in my mini plastic toy bins. The lizards would run off by tricking me with a piece of their tails they cut off themselves, and I would collect them. I know, super gross. (Trust me, I didn't grow into an animal torturer - ask anyone, I am the biggest animal lover of all! 🐶🐰🐱🐻🦁🦄)
Fast forward a couple of decades, I am writing about my tiger-ish mum who has softened over the years into the flower-power-girl that she always has been (she posts pictures of 🌺🌹🌷 everyday on her Facebook page and she's got more fans than me). Me, in my little Milan apartment, her, in Sydney, miles and miles away, 90% likely hanging at the Botanical Gardens she so much loves.
SO WHAT DOES THIS ALL HAVE TO DO WITH DELICIOUS IRRESISTIBLE CHOCOLATE GINGER COOKIES.
Not much actually, apart from the fact that my mum never let me eat cookies in the night time. EVER. ("You will get FAAAATTTT!!!")
And also the fact that 🐸, being from a much more lenient, Italian atmosphere, grew up with treats in every corner of the house. His home in Puglia still looks like a bakery/candy store. Gotta see it to believe it.
Here's to my mum (who now also treats herself to chocolate regularly), being an independent sugar-eater (ain't need nobody to treat me), having frozen cookie dough in the freezer for 11pm emergency 🐸 "I want dolci" situations, and just these very very good, soft, chewy chocolate ginger cookies.
P.S. 'hi mum!'
Note: if you want to have cookies on demand, when you want, where you want them - FREEZE THEM DOUGH! Make sure to roll them into cookie balls already, freeze them on the tray, then chuck them all into a freezer bag. Bake straight from frozen - just consider about 1-2 minutes extra baking time in this case.
And this is my selling pitch for these cookies:
Dark chocolate is the perfect foundation for bits of chewy ginger that pop in your mouth with the most pleasant, warming sensation. Everything just comes together as you bite into the crackled top that gives in to the soft, fudgy centre.
Convincing enough? Make them. You're going to love them.
CHOCOLATE GINGER CHEWY COOKIES
Makes about 24 cookies
Adapted from Ovenly's cookbook
350 g chopped dark chocolate
2 tbs vegetable oil
15 g unsalted butter
150 g packed light brown sugar (the soft, moist stuff! If in Milan, you can find this at Cathay supermarket in Chinatown)
4 large eggs, room temperature ('medie' in Italy, 'large' in other countries I believe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 g plain flour (that's 00 flour, if you are in Italy)
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup crystallised ginger, chopped fine
Set the oven to 180C. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium metal bowl, add the chocolate, oil and butter. Set up a double boiler: add about an inch of water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Place the metal bowl over it to gently melt the chocolate and fats from the heat of the steam. You can also do this in a microwave: heat in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is just about almost melted. Incorporate any smaller chunks by stirring with the remaining heat, out of the microwave.
Set aside to cool a bit. (Add hot🍫🍫🍫 to eggs - you will get scrambled eggs... adios, cookies.)
Whilst your chocolate mix is cooling down, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract until well incorporated.
Add the cooled chocolate to the egg mixture, stir to get it all mingling together with a wooden spoon or spatula. You ain't gonna need any electric beaters for any of this.
Find a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the wet mixture from above, again by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula, until it looks almost mixed in, throw in your chopped ginger chunks and finish incorporating everything together - meaning no sign of white flour should be seen.
So here - I usually leave the entire thing covered in the fridge for about half an hour, because it makes it firmer and easier to handle. A cold dough also means the cookies will spread less in the oven, but if you have had a taste of the dough and just can't wait to bake them all, go straight ahead.
Using two dinner spoons, scoop out 5 cm balls of dough. You can roll them around in your hand to make them into more even balls if you like, but it's not necessary. Place them on the prepared baking tray, leaving space in between each for spread, bake for 13 minutes or until you see them pretty cracks on top and they aren't sticking to the baking paper.
Cool on a wire rack.
Don't start to gobble them down like no one is watching, like I tend to do.
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