Recipe courtesy of Judy's Kitchen (http://judyskitchen.blogspot.com)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. powdered cloves
1-1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla powder or vanilla extract
1/4 cup Crisco vegetable shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar (I used 3/4 cup sugar + 3 Tbsp. NuNaturals stevia
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, preferably 60% cacao or higher
In medium bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, spices, pepper, salt and vanilla powder (if using. If using extract, add with liquids). In bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer, using paddle attachment, cream shortening and butter on medium speed till well combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, creaming till light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Blend in fresh ginger, molasses and egg on medium speed. On low speed, mix in flour mixture just till combined. Refrigerate overnight to develop flavors and firm dough.
Heat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with greased parchment paper. Shape dough in 1-1/4” balls and place 2-1/2” apart on prepared pan. Bake 7-8 minutes, or till golden brown but still soft in centers. Cool in pan 4-5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Melt 10 oz. good-quality chocolate (bittersweet with a high cacao count is best, but you could also do white chocolate or a half batch of dark and white). You can melt chocolate in a microwave by zapping on high and stirring at 30-second intervals, but I like to put the chocolate in a bowl that sits over hot, not boiling, water, stirring till it’s melted. Dip end of cookies in melted chocolate.
Place cookies on waxed paper till chocolate hardens. This may take several hours. You can speed up the process by initially setting the waxed paper on a baking sheet. After you’ve dipped the cookies and filled the waxed paper up, just transfer it to the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Try not to eat too many right away. You’re saving these for Christmas, right? When the chocolate is hardened, place the cookies in a plastic container, separating each row with waxed paper. Freeze till needed and try to forget they’re in there. (I’ve been known to take them out of the freezer and eat them without thawing. They don’t freeze rock hard and they’re quite good like this.)
Yield: 46-50 cookies