When you're having a down-in-the-dumps kind of day, comfort food is of the utmost importance. Chocolate chip cookies and Mac n' Cheese are two of man kinds ultimate healers. So when I was having a crapola-kind-of-day last week I decided the best remedy was to whip up a batch of cc-cookies and drown (devour) my sorrows.
And then I realized I was out of butter.
Then I remembered I had 'butter' flavored Crisco in the pantry. Ooh the thought of that stuff makes me shudder. It's so yellow and bizarre, like someone gave Crisco a spray-tan. I can't even remember how or why it came into my house. I am a butter fanatic and believe shortening should be used only for greasing pans and occasionally when making pie crusts.
But boy-oh-boy I am kicking myself in the butt now. I've had this recipe stashed away in my endless to-do baking pile and realized it called for shortening. I was desperate and figured, oh what the heck, my day can't get much worse. And as it turned out these are some of the best damn cookies I've ever made. Yep, 'butter' flavored Crisco and all. The recipe called for white sugar but I only had brown on hand. In any case the brown sugar really did the cookie justice by providing a nice chewy texture. You may recall my post for The Last Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You'll Ever Need also only uses brown sugar. Just be sure to store in a air-tight container so they won't dry out.
Lastly and as always, use a high quality chocolate for these cookies, preferably dark chocolate. I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips (actually they are more like chunks as they're about double the size of a regular chocolate chip). Also make sure you're using fresh spices as the ginger, cloves, and cinnamon really are the backbone of this cookie. If your spices have been lingering in the pantry since before you had your first child, give them a toss in the bin and pick up some new jars, trust me it will be worth it.
Jumbo Ginger Chocolate Chunk Cookies
makes about 10-12 jumbo cookies
1 cup brown sugar (white sugar is fine but brown sugar will produce a chewier cookie)
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups dark chocolate chunks (or chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the molasses and egg and continue to blend until fully incorporated.
Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices and mix until just incorporated.
Add the chocolate and blend until thoroughly incorporated.
Drop heaping scoops (about 1/4 cup each) of cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone liners. Sprinkle each cookie with some sugar (I forgot this step). Bake until cookies are puffed and just started to brown, about 11-13 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely. *Note: With the first batch I moved the cookies to a cooling rack about 5 minutes after I took them out of the oven. However the cookies are so soft and started to sink through the wire rack, making a lumpy cookie once cooled. I recommend to cool on the baking sheet until the cookies firm back up, about 15 minutes. Then move to a cooling rack to finish.
recipe adapted from Blue-Eyed Bakers