Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies
As if to welcome me home for the holidays, our plane from tropical Vietnam touched down in the middle of a Wisconsin snowstorm. I woke this morning to tree branches glittering with white powder, neighbors’ homes aglow with lights, and a fierce craving for Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies.
I probably should have spent yesterday doing responsible, adult-like activities such as unpacking my suitcase or sorting mail, but with the snow falling, the lights twinkling, and our central heating system still lagging after its weeks of dormancy, the pull of the oven was fierce. When I opened an email from Diane (Hi, Diane!) requesting “an amazing cookie recipe to bring to a cookie exchange next week,” I considered it a directive from the universe. Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies were meant to be, and they were meant to be right now.
If I were so bold as to pick a favorite Christmas cookie (and I kindly ask all of the other Christmas cookies I also adore and gleefully gobble to cover their ears as I do), it would be these Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies. They’re triumphantly thick, soft, and chewy, ooze with puddles of dark chocolate, and their spice level is spectacular.
In addition to a heavy dose of classic gingerbread spices such as cinnamon and cloves, this Chocolate Ginger Molasses 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.
Although I’d love to take credit for these Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies, it is Martha Stewart and my friend Megan to whom I, along with chewy ginger cookie lovers around the globe, owe a debt of gratitude.
Megan and I met as first-year analysts at Target’s corporate headquarters and immediately bonded over our mutual love of a) baking and b) spiced wine. We combined the two into an annual Christmas cookie exchange/wine party. When we were picking out which cookies to make, Megan dove for her copy of Martha Stewart’s Cookies and pointed to the cover. “THESE,” she stated emphatically. The recipe has been my favorite ever since.
Although Megan and I live in different cities now, I still bake these Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies every year because I truly love them and because of the memories attached to them. 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.
Whether you are looking for the perfect soft gingersnap 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 Molasses Cookies are the perfect choice. The universe told me, it’s true!
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 7 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate — I used 70% dark
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour — plus 1 tablespoon
- 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.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 cookie) — Calories: 151, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 7mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Protein: 2g
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