Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I got a Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook today for Mother's Day. These cookies looked really good, so I had to try them! It is an interesting combination of gingersnaps and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Think chocolate covered ginger... They are delicious! I didn't have fresh ginger, but they turned out great. I think that if I did add the ginger, it would have given the cookies a better flavor and taken to a whole new level. They are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Just how I love them! Enjoy!

Makes 2 dozen

7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate (I just used chocolate chips)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup dark-brown sugar, packed
½ cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons hot water
¼ cup granulated sugar

Chop chocolate into ¼-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

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.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 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).

Heat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Roll dough into 1½-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.

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