Thin rounds of French bread, slices of pumpernickel, or sections of bagel
Spread the bread with:
Cultured butter, camembert, or cream...
As if you really needed another cookie recipe.
The thing about cookies that I find so infuriating is that so few of them are well-balanced, and yet, I can never eat just one (As in, if you sit a box of knock-off Oreos in front of me, I will have at least four.).
But really, my favorite cookie is at least sweet and salty, and hopefully there will also be some bitterness or tartness to really round out the flavor. Otherwise, you really risk a forgettable cookie. And while I might eat a really forgettable cookie, I refuse to make a really forgettable cookie.
I decided to risk giving you yet another cookie recipe right before Christmas because I really think this one is remarkable. You will walk away from these cookies wondering how soon you can justify having another one.
They're perfectly sweet, have a little note of bitterness from dark chocolate and molasses, a hint of tartness from dried apricots, spice from fresh and powdered ginger, and a subtle crunch from turbinado sugar. A terribly interesting cookie, in short.
I wish I could claim this recipe as my own brainchild, born of a long and sleepless night. Alas, the recipe is Heidi Swanson's. I tweaked it to suit myself. I used a little less sugar, part bittersweet, part unsweetened chocolate (The breakdown between bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate was a happy accident: I only had 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. It was just as well.), and sorghum syrup instead of molasses. Of course, molasses will work too. You might also add some chopped candied ginger if you're feeling really high strung.
Pour into a small bowl and set aside:
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
Chop into shavings and set aside:
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
In a large bowl, whisk together:
2 cups spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons (yes, tablespoons) ground ginger
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Heat in a saucepan until just melted:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Remove from the heat and stir in:
1/4 cup sorghum syrup or molasses
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
The mixture should be warm, not hot. If it is hot, allow to cool until warm. Whisk in:
1 large egg
Pour the molasses-butter mixture over the flour mixture and add:
1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
Stir until barely combined. Stir in the chocolate shavings. Chill the dough for 30 minutes, or long enough for it to firm up a little bit.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop out the dough with a tablespoon. Roll each tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in the turbinado sugar. Place the cookies at least an inch apart on the baking sheets.
Bake the cookies, two sheets at a time, for 12 to 16 minutes, rotating the sheet pans halfway through baking, until the cookies puff up and crack. They should be relatively firm to the touch (when you touch one, your fingertip should not leave a lasting impression). You can always remove one from the cookie sheet and check the bottom: it should be a deep golden brown.