It is once again time for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap — the third annual GFBCS, in fact. This is the brainchild of the wonderful bloggers at Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. Each blogger participant makes a batch of cookies, and sends a dozen each to three other bloggers. In return, we receive cookies from three other bloggers. Our hosts manage all the details (and there are many, especially considering that roughly 600 bloggers participate each year).
We also each donate to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an organization that raises money toward a cure for pediatric cancer. We raised nearly $14,000 this year!
I received buttery almond sugar cookies from Spoonful of Flavor, delicate pinwheels from White Lights on Wednesday, and beautiful lemon sugar cookies with royal icing and lustre paint from Stirring Things Up.
I was in a quandary about what to make. I lamented the fact that I’d already posted about my very favorite cookies — my version of my family’s molasses cookies. (one of the Swap rules is that you only post a new-to-you recipe.) Then I remembered the glorious moment when Luke and I slathered these amazing cookies with Nutella. The angels sang, I swear.
So, working on the assumption that everything is better with chocolate, I began fiddling with the original recipe, starting with replacing some of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder. They were tasty right away, but it took a few practice rounds to get the balance just right. My son and his college buddies were willing test cases for the first batch; my library pals offered helpful tips on the second.
The final version lightens up on the cloves, then replaces the heat with finely chopped dark chocolate with chiles. For less heat, you can certainly use plain dark chocolate. Since the ingredients include molasses, chocolate, and cocoa, the resulting cookies are nearly black. Multicolored sprinkles took them from gloomy to festive, and added a fun crunch.
Spicy Double Chocolate Cookies
makes about 5 dozen 2-inch cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
scant 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup chopped dark chocolate with chile (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, place the butter, shortening and brown sugar. Beat together just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the egg and beat just until incorporated. Stir in the molasses.
Add the dry ingredients a third at a time, mixing just until incorporated. Add the chopped chocolate. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour until firm.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl. Scoop a heaping teaspoonful of dough and roll in your palms to a ball. It should be about the size of a fresh cherry. Drop in the sprinkles and roll to cover completely. Place on the parchment-covered cookie sheet. Continue with the dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart –they will spread.
Bake for about 7 minutes until the tops are slightly cracked. Aim to slightly underbake–they will continue to cook on the hot cookie sheet. Let them rest for 1 minute, then move the cookies to a rack to cool completely.