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in the land of whoa

Recipe: chocolate gingerbread cookies

This post is coming to you from sunny (and hot) California. More specifically, you could call it sunny, hot, gorgeous, delightful, mouth-watering, seductive Sonoma County (and a little Napa too). It’s been looking like this:


wine tastings


dinner at redd (those are scallops – bloody awesome scallops)

lovely grounds at wineries

the most brilliant lunch EVER

otoro sushi

Before I head into the sticks for a few days, I wanted to wish all of the wonderful moms out there a very happy Mother’s Day! The world would come to a halt without your love and dedication, so thank you for all you do. Of course, I have to give special shout outs to my two favorite moms: Mom (my mother-in-law) and Mom (my mom).

It seems fitting that today’s recipe should be something sweet, like those magical hugs that only moms can give. I recently tested a batch of these chocolate gingerbread cookies and I think they may be the new crack – but LEGAL!

butter, molasses, flour, dark brown sugar, ginger, chocolate, candied ginger, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, spices, fresh grated ginger, sugar

sift the flour, cocoa, salt, and spices together

beat the butter and fresh ginger together

add the brown sugar

I know gingerbread cookies are more a holiday type of treat, but I’ve been dealing with a good bit of fresh ginger lately and the recipe called to me. They are described as chewy cookies chock full of chocolate chunks. The gingerbread dough is really a chocolate gingerbread dough. So what’s not to like?

mix in molasses

combine the baking soda and water

beat in the flour mixture

Actually, I’m not a big chocolate fan, so I decided to sub half of the chocolate with an equal amount of diced crystallized ginger. Perhaps it should really be named double chocolate triple ginger cookies? The dough smells so spicy and fresh when you mix it up, but it helps to have some patience because you have to chill the dough for a few hours before baking.

mix in chocolate and crystallized ginger

pat the dough to a 1-inch thickness and chill

roll the dough into balls and chill again

Cookies make me nervous as they tend to misbehave most often at my high altitude. These cookies turned out perfectly with no adjustments necessary (thank you, cookie gods!). They puff up in the oven and then slowly spread. The cookies are done when the surfaces crack. Let these cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to the cooling rack. Don’t be hasty! The cookies are super soft fresh out of the oven and will most definitely fall apart if you try to move them too early. They firm up as they cool.

coat in sugar

move to cooling rack after 5 minutes of cooling on the baking sheet

The cookies are soft throughout with a nice sparkly outer coat of sugar. I’ve made them two ways: 1) with the chunk chocolate and crystallized ginger and 2) with just the chunk chocolate. Both versions are wonderful, but I prefer the chocolate and crystallized ginger version. The ginger adds a nice soft and spicy bite here and there to counter the rich and creamy chocolate pieces. Store the cookies for up to 5 days, but after that point they start to crumble apart. I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to keep them around that long.

cookies and moms make the world go round

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
[print recipe]
from Martha Stewart’s Cookies

1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp (220g) (7 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 lb. (4 oz. or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (peeled)
1/2 cup (120g) (4 1/4 oz.) dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (190g) (6 3/4 oz.) unsulphured molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsps boiling water
3.5 oz. (about 1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3.5 oz. (about 1/2 cup) crystallized or candied ginger, chopped (if you want you can use chocolate like original recipe)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa together into a medium bowl. Place the butter and grated fresh ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat (with paddle attachment) on medium until the butter is fluffy and light-colored (3-4 minutes). Beat the brown sugar into the butter until combined. Beat the molasses into the butter until combined. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the boiling water until dissolved. Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture and mix until combined. Add the baking soda-water mixture, beat and then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until dough is uniform in color and texture. Mix in the chocolate and candied ginger. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Place another sheet on top and flatten the dough to a 1-inch thickness. Wrap it up and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325ยฐF. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and tear off chunks of the dough to roll into balls – about 1 1/2-inches in diameter (I made mine 1-inch diameter). The dough can get sticky, so work quickly and don’t overhandle it. Set each dough ball on a plate. Refrigerate the finished dough balls for 20 minutes. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar to coat completely, then set on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minute (11 works perfectly for me at 1-inch diameter) or until the surfaces begin to crack. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack (they will be very soft just out of the oven and fall apart easily). Makes 2 dozen big ones or 4 dozen smaller ones. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

24 nibbles at “in the land of whoa”

  1. fanny says:

    those cookies look insane. I love ginger and choc. such a timeless classic! enjoy Cali… x

  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Sweet goodness, these sound delightful! Yum!

  3. Sweet Tooth says:

    The last time I made gingerbread cookies they where horrible but these look so pretty that I want to give it another chance. Hopefully my next batch would turn out like yours

  4. Laura B says:

    Ah! You’re in my backyard! Last year for our anniversary my husband took me to Cyrus. It was the best meal I’d ever had, BY FAR! Can’t wait to see pictures of the back country when you return.

  5. Krista says:

    Beautiful. I’m working at Vincent Arroyo Winery now, in Calistoga – the northern end of Napa Valley. You should come for a tasting! You’re welcome to take some vineyard and cellar shots. A fan of your blog and photos, Krista

  6. Memoria says:

    That shot with the molasses being poured into the mixer is calling out to me for some reason. What a great and clear shot! Those cookies look amazing.

    Hsppy Mothers Day to all the moms out there!

  7. Crystal says:

    I think Cyrus is the best restaurant in California. Glad you had a great visit!

  8. Stephanie says:

    I love anything ginger. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    What pretty pictures! I immediately clicked on these when I saw them on Foodgawker, thinking that they looked delicious and then I saw your source and realized that I’ve made these. And they’re amazing! Now I’m in the mood for something gingery. Ginger and lemon sounds good right about now. :)

  10. Chris J says:

    Ooooh these look good… I think I’ll go the more chocolate avenue though. Thanks for the recipe! Pinning!

  11. evan says:

    These are hands-down my favorite cookies on earth! Been making them for years and haven’t looked back :)

  12. Purabi Naha says:

    I just saw this picture of your culinary creation on Foodgawker and couln’t stop appreciating!! The recipe is great and I am determined to try this now!!!

  13. Nan says:

    All I can say is YUM! I adore ginger too so time to bake!

  14. London Cooking Classes says:

    I love ginger, butter and chocolate! Ah, this is just making me drool. I think it’s about time I start baking again! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Katie says:

    I have a ton of potlucks this summer. This may be the next thing that I bring.

  16. Dana says:

    Gorgeous as always. We ate at Redd last May and it was by far the best meal we had in the valley. Enjoy Jen!

  17. anna says:

    just made these for a coworker’s birthday. came out amazing! i omitted the nutmeg (i hate nutmeg) and added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the sugar before rolling the dough balls in it. Perfect. And i didn’t even realize this recipe didn’t call for eggs! (fortunate because I didn’t have any on hand) Will definitely be making these again, thanks for sharing!

  18. Mrs Ergรผl says:

    I have missed looking at your gorgeous photos. Enjoy California with Jeremy!

  19. LizzieBee says:

    WOAH. Those look so good! I love & adore gingerbread, but haven’t made any in a long while. We’ve mostly cut out sugar & have slowly been reintroducing carbs (not much wheat, but I would think that a spelt flour would work out here..) and I think we deserve something nice home baked :) YUM! Cookies!!

  20. Jane M says:

    I know this has nothing to do with the current post, but I just wanted to let you know I’m on my 3rd batch of dog treats for my poodle! The last batch I used carrots instead of pumpkin to add a little variety for my pooch. He’s over the moon with the new goodies! Thanks again for the recipe.

  21. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    I’ve had plenty of gingerbread cookies but never a chocolate kind! I bet the combo is INCREDIBLE! Will have to try this soon.

  22. jenyu says:

    fanny – thank you!

    Katrina – :)

    Sweet Tooth – these are very wonderful – I promise!

    Laura – lucky you to live so close to something so amazing. Actually, lucky me that I don’t go broke eating there all the time ;)

    Krista – awww darn! We didn’t get a chance to swing by, but next time (and there will certainly be a next time), we’ll try to visit!

    Memoria – thank you.

    Crystal – :)

    Stephanie – Oh, I hope you like this one!

    Erin – these are good, aren’t they?

    Chris – you’re welcome!

    evan – awesome :)

    Purabi – hope you like them.

    Nan – I love ginger too!

    London Cooking Classes – you’re very welcome.

    Katie – wow, you bake in summer? Your friends must LOVE you!

    Dana – hey, next time we should try and coordinate our trips! :)

    anna – sounds terrific and I’m so glad everyone liked them!

    Mrs. Ergรผl – thank you!

    LizzieBee – yeah, these aren’t low on the sugar levels, that’s for sure.

    Jane – so glad to hear it. My pup loves the dog treats too :)

    Chung-Ah – chocolate and ginger are a match made in heaven!

  23. Stacey says:

    Chocolate and ginger are one of my all-time favourite combos, and man is it hard to find people who understand the greatness of it! These look terrific!

  24. Maria @ Box of Stolen Socks says:

    I was looking for a chocolate cookie! I found 100+ results on Pinterest, more than 1000 on foodblogger search….frustration… Then I checked out my RSS feed of your site (yes I am your secret stalker for quite a while now) and WOW I found my cookie! Thank you.

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