In case you have some leftover of crystallized ginger from Christmas time, and you are growing weary what to do with them, I get you covered.
These gingery hybrid of brownie and cookies are a perfect fit for Valentines’. Simply put, they are hardcore aphrodisiac delicacies.
The bottomless depth of dark chocolate and the tantalizing spicy crunch of slender crystallized slices of ginger are created for one another. Can’t think of any better match.
I adapted this recipe by Susan Spungen from the food section of the New York Times. I served these brownie cookies at a cocktail dinner last Christmas and they garnered plenty of oohs and ahhs.
To impress my kids, I went the extra mile this time and used my heart-shaped cookie cutter to get these cuties.
Just between the two of us, I had gobbled almost all the cutaway edges by the time I was done with the cookies photo shooting.
On the technical front, I skimped on the sugar and splurged on the flavorings.
Whereas the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar, I ended up using just 1/2 cup of brown sugar. And to mitigate the unmistakable wild spiciness of fresh ginger, I swapped in tamed ginger powder.
In a calculated attempt to elevate the chocolate note further, I sprinkled a bold pinch of cinnamon and another pinch of ground coffee. Cinnamon, chocolate, coffee, and ginger combined are incontestably in my book, love, and happiness ever after.
Ladies, either you are single or not, please make sure tomorrow morning, on Valentines’ day, to pause for fifteen minutes and to indulge yourselves. Grab a couple (or more) of these cookies with your coffee/tea, close your eyes, reconnect with yourself, and remember that you are always valuable.
We can’t offer much to whom we love if we can’t accept and love ourselves first.
Happy Valentines’ Day everyone!
Brownie-cookie Hybrid Hearts
Recipe adapted from Susan Spungen at the New York Times
Makes 25 hearts
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces/225 grams bittersweet chocolate (70 %), broken into pieces
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon powder ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (about 2/3 cup)
- 8 to 10 pieces candied ginger slices, thinly sliced
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Combine the 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate and the butter in a double boiler or a small heatproof bowl that snuggly sits on a small saucepan. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in the saucepan over high heat, reduce to a simmer, then set the bowl on top. The bowl bottom shouldn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until all chocolate is melted. Remove bowl from saucepan to cool slightly.
- Combine eggs with brown sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on medium speed to combine, scraping down the sides once. Increase speed to high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the ginger, cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla. Beat to combine.
- Change the attachment of stand mixer to the paddle one, add the melted chocolate mixture and beat on medium speed to combine. Decrease the speed, and add the flour mixture until just combined. Ovoid overbeating. Remove bowl from mixer, scrape sides and fold a few times to make sure everything is well combined. Add the 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips and fold to combine.
- Place the dough in the fridge as it will be very runny for 3o minutes. When it is time, use a small cookie scoop to form dough balls. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, setting each scoop 3 inches apart. Top each cookie with two slices of candied ginger. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, and transfer them to a wire rack to cool further. When they are at room temperature, apply the heart-shaped cookie cutter in the center of each cookie. Freeze the cutaway edges in a ziplock for a chocolate trifle or for having them with your coffee/tea.
- It is possible to break up this recipe on two days. Make the dough on the first day, keep it in the fridge or the freezer up to three days. Shape the cookies and bake them on the same day.