Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Gingerbread

This is one of the few recipes I can claim as truly my own. I used to make a chocolate-gingerbread cookie from a Martha Stewart recipe but they were never quite what I envisioned. Both my mom and I noticed the cookies never came out the same way twice, something was always slightly off.

So I went through other cookie recipes, tinkered around, and last year I hit on the perfect recipe for chewy chocolate cookies with the heat of ginger which are the pure essence of Christmas. I love them. I hope you do too.

Suanne's Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (please use Hershey's Special Dark because it is superior)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger (heaping if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 oz melted bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (either fresh ginger peeled and grated, or bottled pressed ginger which is what I do because grating ginger is a pain in the ass.)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa, or, as I explained earlier, go fetch your ziplock bag labeled "Chocolate Gingerbread" with the pre-measured dry ingredients. Oh my God, you are SO ORGANIZED! I hate you.

In the electric mixer, cream the butter and pressed ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes, and by the way I personally make that a generous tablespoon of ginger. Add the white and brown sugar and beat until combined, then add eggs, followed by flour mixture and chocolate chips (if using).

Turn dough out onto plastic wrap, flatten into a disk, seal and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. (Or freeze.  Thaw frozen dough in fridge overnight)

Heat oven to 325. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake until the surfaces start to crack, about 13-15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks.

These are at their absolute best right out of the oven while the chocolate is still gooey, with a big glass of milk. Once cooled and stored, they are ever so slightly less divine, but still pretty f'ing good. I always wonder if you could revive one in the microwave to just-out-of-oven goodness, but have never tried it. If you do, let me know.