For almost 2 weeks I have had a recipe for chewy ginger chocolate biscuits teasing me, taunting me, begging me to transform it from drab, black words on white paper, into sweet, spicy, aromatic reality. After a busy week of work and social activities, I got home at about 9pm on Friday night, and even though a part of me longed to flop down on the sofa and not move until bedtime, I went straight into the kitchen and whipped the flour, butter, sugar and spices out of the cupboard.
That is one of the things that I like about making biscuits. It really does not take long at all, for either the preparation or the baking, and the smell that fills your house as the treacley spheres melt down and then turn golden brown, is just the smell of home.
I have only one word of caution for this recipe. Watch out for the over-zealous oven. Mine is a fan oven so typically it tried to cremate anything unless I keep the temperature a good 25 degrees lower than the recipe dictates, and even then these little beauties only needed 11 minutes to ensure that they have a crispy outside but a meltingly soft centre.
Chewy Ginger & White Chocolate Cookies
makes around 4 dozen cookies
adapted from Joy the Baker
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses or treacle (I used treacle)
3/4 cup chocolate chips – white, milk or dark chocolate (I have a special interest in white chocolate)
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough balls
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or just spray lightly with cooking spray.
Sift the flour, baking soda, spices and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg and molasses and mix until blended and an even lighter colour, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing to just incorporate it. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Spread the granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough between the palms of your hands into a ball, toss the ball in sugar to coat and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue making biscuits, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies one or two sheets at a time until the tops feel firm but they are still soft in the center and there are several large cracks on top, about 12-14 minutes (beware of the oven!). Cool the biscuits on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely.
The biscuits can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.