Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Gingerbread Cookies

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Gingerbread cookies are the ultimate Christmas cookie, but I find making the version that involves rolling, stamping and decorating a bit time-consuming. Here is a version that has all the flavours, but less of the faff.

These gorgeous cookies have cayenne pepper in them, which adds a fabulous kick and pairs with the ginger beautifully. And what’s more, there’s little pops of sweet, tart cranberry and luxurious dark chocolate. It’s like Christmas just got turned up a notch!

RECIPE: DARK CHOCOLATE & CRANBERRY GINGERBREAD COOKIES
MAKES: 15

INGREDIENTS:

  • 225g FLOUR
  • 1/2 tsp. BAKING POWDER
  • 1 tsp. GROUND GINGER
  • 1/2 tsp. ALLSPICE
  • 1/2 tsp. GROUND CINNAMON
  • 1/2 tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
  • 1/4 tsp. GROUND CLOVES
  • Pinch SALT
  • 50g DRIED CRANBERRIES, chopped
  • 50g DARK CHOCOLATE, chopped into chips
  • 90g BUTTER
  • 80g BROWN SUGAR
  • 45g MOLASSES
  • 1 tsp. VANILLA PASTE
  • 1 EGG

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients: FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, GROUND GINGER, ALLSPICE, CINNAMON, CAYENNE PEPPER, CLOVES and SALT. Give it a good stir with a fork so that everything is evenly distributed. Then add the chopped DRIED CRANBERRIES and DARK CHOCOLATE, and give it another stir.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the BUTTER and BROWN SUGAR with the MOLASSES and VANILLA PASTE until creamy. Add a spoonful of the FLOUR-MIXTURE to prevent curdling, and then whisk in the EGG. Now add the rest of the FLOUR-MIXTURE and fold in until there are no white streaks remaining. The mixture will be quite stiff.
  3. Tip onto a sheet of cling-film, and pull together and knead into a dough. Wrap and put in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
  4. Pinch off small chunks of the mixture, roll into balls and arrange on your lined baking sheet. Try and make 15 balls from the mixture: the balls will be about 40g each. Press down each ball with your fingertips to get them started.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes @ 190c. You’ll see them colour around the edges. If you make the cookies slightly bigger or smaller, make sure you add on or take away a few minutes of cooking time accordingly.
  6. When you take them out of the oven, leave them on the tray for five minutes. Then, transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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