Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies and Baked Potato Soup

I am so not a baker. I'm just not very good at it. I've been invited to a cookie swap, though, and I needed to make cookies. (Actually, my neighbor told me there was a neighborhood cookie swap and somehow, expressing interest was interpreted as an R.S.V.P....sigh...)

I found a very interesting Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I love the smell of gingerbread, but can't stomach full-on gingerbread. This cookie recipe sounded perfect!

I attempted it yesterday and they turned out wonderfully. The gingerbread taste was there, but the chocolate chips balanced it out perfectly.

Found here.

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 dozen
  • 7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
I couldn't find fresh ginger, so I just chucked some ground ginger into the butter. I also had an issue with chopping up the chocolate chunks, so I put them into my food processor and it ground the chocolate down into almost shavings. I tossed it in, anyway, and just added some chocolate chips to give the cookies some texture. Also, I didn't have any parchment paper, so I just greased the cookie sheet with butter.

The best part is, my kids love them! I figured the gingerbread flavor would turn them off, but they've been clamoring for more.

For dinner, I made my Mom's Baked Potato Soup recipe. While I don't have pictures, I figured I'd put the recipe here for posterity.

Baked Potato Soup

2/3 cup butter (or margarine)
2/3 flour
shredded bacon (to taste)
2 beef bouillon cubes
6 cups milk
scallions (to taste)
sour cream (to taste)
shredded cheddar cheese (you guessed it; to taste.)
7-8 large baked potatoes

Melt 2/3 cup butter in large soup pot. Add flour, stirring constantly. This should make a thick paste. 

Slowly add three cups of milk, one cup at a time, making sure to heat the mixture thoroughly before adding the next cup. You'll need to stir constantly, so you may want an extra pair of hands.
After the third cup, add shredded bacon and bouillon to mixture. Stir until thoroughly heated and bouillon is distributed.

Slowly add remaining three cups of milk, again making sure to heat soup thoroughly between cups.

Scoop out insides of potatoes and add to soup. Stir with whisk, breaking up large pieces of potato as you stir.

Add sour cream. Allow sour cream to melt and evenly distribute throughout soup.

Add cheese and scallions (you can also set these aside and let people add their own. This is helpful for people who don't like/can't eat cheese and onion.)

Serve with a side of crusty bread.

I like to bake the potatoes and cook the bacon earlier in the day so it's cool enough to handle when I'm making the soup.


  1. Yum yum yum!
    We had baked potato soup at my baby shower :)Its winter food!

  2. It really is winter food. I only made it one time in the years I lived in Hawaii. It tastes much better on a cold, blustery day.