Ginger Chip Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies and a Party

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My friend recently updated her kitchen and invited a bunch of friends over last night to celebrate.  Never one to go anywhere empty handed, I brought homemade cookies on a platter she could keep for her new kitchen, which, by the way, was fabulous!

This recipe is from A Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies by Dede Wilson. I use her cookie recipes a lot and with great results. Her Christmas Cookie book is my go to every year.

I wanted to make something chocolatey because it is so close to Valentine’s Day. I also wanted a dessert with grown up flavor and attitude – not your usual chocolate chip cookie. These cookies were easy to make and so delicious. The brown sugar, candied ginger and chocolate chips and, oh yeah, dipping them in chocolate really made them special. You don’t have to dip them in chocolate but the extra step of tempering chocolate was worth it. They looked great on the platter (while they lasted) with cocoa dusted almonds and Hershey’s Kisses thrown in.

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2 and 1/2 cups ap flour, sifted

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger

1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate morsels, I used Ghirardelli

1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, I used the same Ghirardelli mini chips

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Coat a 9 inch square baking pan with spray or butter.

Sift flour into a small bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the brown sugar gradually and beat on high speed until very light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Mixture should become very light in color.  Beat in vanilla and ground ginger. Add about 1/3 of the four and mix on low. Gradually add the remaining flour and scrape down sides until just blended. Add the minced crystallized ginger and mini morsels and blend.  Pat dough into prepared pan, pressing to the sides and corners and making the top as smooth as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.

Cut the shortbread into 24 even sized bars (8×3).  I used a dough or bench scraper. Ease them out of the pan with a small spatula and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until just turning light golden brown on the edges, about 30 minutes. Once cooled completely they can be dipped in melted chocolate.

Tempering Chocolate:

Place a small bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Pour 2/3 of the chips into the bowl and stir gently as they melt. Once completely melted remove the bowl and dry the bottom (if water gets into the melted chocolate it will harden). Add the remaining chips and stir to melt. Dip the tip of the cooled cookies into the tempered chocolate and place them on the baking sheet. Chill to set.

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