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Originally published Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 6:04 AM

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Recipe: Gingerbread Pear S’mores


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Makes 24 cookies

Make ahead: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

½ cup sugar

¾ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

Generous 1 / 3 cup molasses

11 / 3 cups flour, sifted

Scant 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

½ cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

½ cup (3¼ ounces) finely diced dried pear, plus more for garnish

½ cup Jet-Puffed Vanilla Mallow Bits (may substitute chopped mini-marshmallows), plus more for garnish

2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped or shaved (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

2. Combine the butter, sugar, allspice, cinnamon and ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low, then medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

3. Add the molasses and beat on medium speed for one minute. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

4. On low speed, gradually add the sifted flour and graham cracker crumbs (together is OK), beating until well incorporated to form a stiff dough. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

5. If the dried pears you’re using are tough or hardened, place them in a bowl and cover with very hot water for no more than three minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels before dicing.

6. Stir in the chocolate chips, dried pear and marshmallow bits by hand.

7. Create 24 balls of equal size, spacing 18 of them at least 1 inch apart on the two baking sheets. Flatten each one slightly, then sprinkle with a few extra chocolate chips, pear and marshmallow bits, gently pressing them in so the garnishes stay in place. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, turning it from front to back halfway through the baking; the cookies will be slightly puffed. After five minutes’ rest on the baking sheet, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. Repeat with the remaining six balls of dough, the chocolate chips, pear and marshmallow bits.

9. If you’d like to drizzle the cookies with chocolate, melt it to a pourable consistency while the cookies are cooling, using either small bursts of microwave heat or a double boiler. Drizzle sparingly over the cooled cookies.

10. Store or serve the cookies once the chocolate has set.

NUTRITION Per cookie: 200 calories, 2 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 13 g sugar

Adapted by The Washington Post from Amanda Rosse, pastry chef at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor at National Harbor in Maryland.



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