I couldn’t let The Great Cookie Season pass without sharing my absolute favorite Christmas cookie recipe of them all: Chocolate Ginger Cookies. Soft and chewy in the centers with melty puddles of chocolate and a spirited zing of fresh ginger, these are the cookies I most look forward to every year.
I first started baking these amped-up ginger cookies in my early 20s for an annual girls’ cookie exchange my coworker Megan and I started. Newcomers to town, we surmised that an excellent way to expand our friend network would be to lure prospective candidates over with promises of chocolate, butter, and Spiced Wine. It worked.
We hosted the exchange every year we lived in the same city. While we changed up the cookie assortment each year, these Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies were our annual, iron-clad must make.
It’s been almost a decade (!) since I first tasted these Chocolate Ginger Cookies, and my Christmas still doesn’t feel complete without them. I’ve baked them for my sisters, girlfriends, and neighbors. When I receive requests for a recommendation for a stellar cookie to bring to a cookie exchange, this is the recipe I send. Everyone who tries these Chocolate Ginger Cookies loves them. They are special.
With only one week to go until Christmas (when did that happen?) today feels like the right time to share this treasure from my cache of cookie recipes. If you love warm spices, chocolate, and cozy, fuzzy feelings that make you want to cuddle around a Christmas tree, I know they’ll be a fast favorite of yours too!
The Very Best Chocolate Ginger Cookies
These Chocolate Ginger Cookies are triumphantly thick, chewy, and their spice level is spectacular.
In addition to a heavy dose of classic gingerbread spices such as cinnamon and cloves, this Chocolate Ginger Cookies recipe uses fresh ginger, which I am convinced is what makes them unquestionably superior to any other ginger molasses cookie in the cosmos. Every bite is filled with the warmth and comfort of a crackling fire on a chilly day.
The big chunks of melty dark chocolate certainly don’t hurt their superiority level either.
In case you need further endorsement, these Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies are approved by Martha Stewart herself. They’re the cover recipe of her exclusively cookie cookbook, Martha Stewart’s Cookies.
I’ve added my own recipe twist by swapping a portion of the regular flour for white whole wheat flour to give them a little nutritional boost. While I can’t in good faith call this recipe healthy ginger molasses cookies, I assure you that they are worth the splurge.
How to Store and Freeze These Cookies
- To Store. Store leftover baked ginger molasses cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, in the refrigerator for 7 days.
- To Freeze. Place cookies in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To Make Ahead. Rolled, unbaked cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed.
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- My favorite cookie sheet
- Parchment paper sheets (the pre-cut is totally worth it!) or silicone baking mats
Whether you are looking for the perfect soft ginger cookie to add to your tray, a treat to warm you on a winter night, or something to show Santa how much you’d really, really appreciate his support, these Chocolate Ginger Cookies truly hit the spot.
Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 7 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate I used 70% dark
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses NOT blackstrap
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Chop chocolate into rough 1/4-inch chunks (I like to use a serrated knife for maximum chunkiness). In a medium bowl, sift together the white whole what flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. (If you skip the sifting, the cocoa will be lumpy. It’s worth the extra step!)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and grated ginger until very light, about 4 minutes. Add the brown sugar, then beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl, add the molasses, and beat until incorporated.
- Place the baking soda in a small bowl. Top with 1 1/2 teaspoons of very hot water, then stir to dissolve. Set aside.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then beat just until most of the flour disappears. Beat in the baking soda-water mixture, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining half of the flour mixture and beat just until the flour disappears. Mix in the chocolate chunks and any chocolate “dust,” switching to a wooden spoon if needed to ensure the chunks are evenly distributed. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap (I used two sheets stuck together at the edges to make it larger), then pat dough into a rough circle that is 1 inch thick. Seal the dough with the wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (they will look quite large). Place on the baking sheets and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Once the dough balls have chilled, roll them in granulated sugar and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until the surfaces barely begin to crack, about 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies will look underdone. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling as long as you can stand the suspense. Enjoy!
- *It's an incredible flavor upgrade to grate your own nutmeg from whole nutmeg instead of buying preground. I use this zester to do it.
- Store leftover baked ginger molasses cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, in the refrigerator for 7 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Rolled, unbaked cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed.
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