Ginger is usually thought of as a "holiday spice": gingerbread houses, pumpkin-spice anything, sweet potato side dishes, etc.
In my house, ginger is an "every day spice": Ground ginger goes into my morning latte to add an extra kick. Fresh ginger is tossed into stir-fries. Fresh and ground ginger are prominently featured in my favorite roasted butternut squash soup (which I have been known to eat for lunch and dinner, daily, until I run out.)
I purchase multiple jars of ground ginger at a time from Trader Joe's, and I go through them quickly. You might even say I'm a bit of a ginger-groupie.
One of the things that I love about ginger is its versatility. Sure, we all know that it pairs well with the holiday spice quartet: cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg, but one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations is that of bittersweet chocolate and ground ginger. The richness and creaminess of the chocolate cuts through the spiciness of the ginger, making this ingredient duo a winning team in dessert recipes.
I love a gingersnap. There's something very comforting and nostalgic about them for me. Maybe this is because they remind me of those little iced spice cookies that we used to get at school during recess. Maybe the smell of them baking makes me think of Christmas time growing up. Whatever the reason, my gingersnap recipe is one of my favorite cookie recipes--and was one of the most popular cookies at my bakery. They're slightly crisp on the outside but chewy on the inside, and they beg for a glass of cold milk or hot chocolate, depending on the time of year.
This is the first time that I've ever thought of adding chunks of freshly chopped chocolate to my gingersnap dough, and the results were a unanimous success......I've had to make three batches to keep up with demand from my family. I especially like how the different sizes of chocolate pieces create little surprises with each bite. Sometimes you get one large chocolate chunk, and other times you get several smaller ones that hit every corner of your mouth. Win-win.