These dark chocolate gingerbread cookies have a crispy, crunchy exterior and a moist and chewy center. They're filled with the rich flavors of molasses, both fresh and ground ginger, cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks. Try this delicious spin on classic ginger molasses cookies!
These chewy chocolate ginger cookies combine the rich flavor of dark chocolate with smoky molasses, warm ground ginger and the bright flavor of grated fresh ginger. They're based off my triple ginger molasses cookies, which are a seasonal favorite throughout the chillier fall and winter months.
These cookies include chocolate in two forms - both Dutch cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks. They perfectly balance the robust flavors of spices and molasses with rich chocolate taste and gooey, melty texture. (For another chocolate-and-spice combination, try Piernik, a polish gingerbread loaf cake.)
If you like this gingerbread chocolate cookie recipe, be sure to try these other spice filled recipes: easy spiced German bar cookies, creamy pumpkin cheesecake cookies, and these mini ginger apple cakes with salted caramel sauce.
You can also explore my entire collection of cookie recipes here!
- Unsalted butter - Using unsalted butter allows you to control the total quantity of salt in the recipe. Salt content in salted butter varies from brand to brand. Your butter should be at room temperature.
- Brown sugar - Brown sugar helps keep these cookies moist and chewy and gives them a deeper caramel taste.
- Granulated sugar - For additional sweetness and to help the cookies spread a bit more.
- Molasses - Molasses provides a warm, sweet, smoky flavor.
- Egg - Have one large egg at room temperature. If you forget, place it in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
- Fresh ginger - Fresh finely grated ginger provides bright flavor that is pungent and spicy.
- Ground ginger - Ground ginger has less depth of flavor, but has a more concentrated kick than fresh. It adds additional warmth and bite.
- Ground cinnamon - A warming spice that adds a lovely festive feel to these cookies.
- Ground cloves - Ground cloves are the pulverized dried flower buds of the clove tree. They impart an intense and pungent flavor.
- Kosher salt - I use Diamond Crystal Kosher salt.
- Cocoa powder - Use Dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe. It provides a darker, richer flavor than natural cocoa. You don't have to worry about the alkalized cocoa not activating the baking soda. There is enough acidity in the molasses and brown sugar to make it work!
- All purpose flour - Flour binds the batter together and provides structure. I encourage you to weigh your flour (and all other ingredients) using a digital scale for best results. Even 15 grams/two tablespoons of flour can completely change the outcome of a recipe.
- Dark chocolate - The melted pools of chocolate are one of the best parts of these cookies! I like to use bar chocolate and chop it into chunks for these cookies (see ingredient photo for reference). I prefer not to use chocolate chips, as they often contain fillers intended to prevent them from melting and losing shape.
See recipe card for quantities.
Learn how to make gingerbread chocolate cookies! These photos are to provide visual cues. Detailed instructions are included in the recipe card.
Cream together butter and sugars, beating until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Add molasses, egg, baking soda, salt and spices. Beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add cocoa powder and mix on low until fully incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add flour. Mix on low speed until just a few streaks of flour remain. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in chocolate chunks with a spatula.
Scoop dough in 1 ½ Tablespoon balls (Medium / Size 40 cookie scoop) onto a parchment lined baking sheet. If dough is too sticky, refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up before scooping.
Using your hands, form dough into circles. If you haven't yet refrigerated the dough, do so now. Roll the cookie dough in granulated sugar, covering thoroughly.
Bake 6 to 8 ginger chocolate cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet on the middle rack of oven for 11-12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177° Celsius, Gas mark 4). The cookies are done baking when they have puffed up, and are just beginning to set around the edges. They will deflate and firm up more as they cool. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Hints: Be careful not to over bake these cookies. The cookies will look puffy and slightly underdone when removed from the oven at the 11-12 minute mark. Within a minute out of the oven, they will deflate a bit and begin to firm up, taking on their traditional crackly texture. Don't wait for this visual cue while they're still in the oven.
Give these variations and serving suggestions a try.
- Orange zest - Grate the zest of an orange into the bowl when creaming the butter and sugars.
- Plain - Omit the chocolate chunks for a simple chocolate and ginger cookie (note that the molasses flavor will be more prominent without the chocolate chunks). You'll end up with a few less cookies, too, since you're reducing the total volume of dough.
- Ice cream sandwich cookies - Sandwich a softened scoop of your favorite ice cream between two of these cookies for a decadent frozen treat. Try salted caramel, chocolate, butter pecan, or vanilla...
- Nuts - If you like nuts in your cookies, feel free to add ¼ cup to ½ cup of chopped nuts to the dough when folding in the chocolate chunks. I'd suggest pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts.
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Cookie scoop - To bake these cookies, I use this medium cookie scoop which measures out 1½ Tablespoons of dough. It's a size 40. I love using a cookie scoop for drop cookies. It keeps them uniform in size, which also helps them to bake evenly.
Baking pans - I bake my cookies on half sheet baking pans (18 x 13 inches).
Parchment paper is great for lining the baking pan. The cookies won't stick at all if you use parchment underneath. One roll of this 15 inch x 164 foot (38 centimeter x 50 meter) non-stick paper lasts a LONG time! If you have access to a Costco store, the price is often a bit better.
Microplane - A microplane grater is the perfect tool for grating fresh ginger. It's also excellent for grating citrus zest and fresh spices such as nutmeg.
Store these spiced chocolate cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Freeze: place cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature prior to serving.
Make ahead: Unbaked cookie dough balls (hand rolled, but not coated in sugar) can be frozen and stored in an airtight zippered freezer bag for up to 3 months. Place on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator to thaw overnight (cover loosely with plastic wrap) and roll in granulated sugar immediately prior to baking.
For these cookies, I used unsulphered dark molasses (affiliate link), which is traditionally used for gingerbread and ginger cookies. If you can't find dark molasses, you can try substituting light molasses, but it is sweeter, less flavorful and slightly runnier in texture. Do not use blackstrap molasses. It's thicker, saltier, and significantly more bitter than dark molasses. It will have an unsatisfactory effect on your cookies due in part to a lower moisture content. For more, read Stella Parks' detailed article - including visuals - on the differences between molasses types and why blackstrap molasses isn't a good substitute for dark molasses in most baking.
It gives me great satisfaction to have (nearly) perfectly round cookies.
The first trick: use a cookie scoop. My go-to is this medium sized, 1 ½ tablespoon scoop from Oxo (affiliate link).
The second trick: Immediately after removing cookies from oven, when still warm and pliable, gently swirl a round cookie cutter around the edges to encourage them back into a round shape. I use this concentric set of round cookie cutters (affiliate link) so that I always have the perfect size on hand. It should be just a bit larger than the baked cookie. You can also flip a round drinking glass upside down and use the rim.
Chocolate Gingerbread CookiesPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 113 grams (½ cup; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 100 grams (½ cup) brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 113 grams (⅔ cup) molasses (NOT blackstrap)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 grams (½ teaspoon) kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 50 grams (½ cup + 2 Tablespoons) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
- 210 grams (1¾ cups) all purpose flour
- 170 grams (1 cup; 6 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped (I used 72%)
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar, for rolling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula.113 grams (½ cup; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar, 100 grams (½ cup) brown sugar, packed
- Add egg, molasses, baking soda, salt, fresh ginger and ground spices. Mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.1 large egg, room temperature, 113 grams (⅔ cup) molasses (NOT blackstrap), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 grams (½ teaspoon) kosher salt, 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated, 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Add the cocoa powder and mix on low speed until fully blended. Scrape down bowl.50 grams (½ cup + 2 Tablespoons) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
- Add the flour and baking soda and mix on low speed until just a few streaks of flour remain.210 grams (1¾ cups) all purpose flour
- Remove mixing bowl from stand mixer and add chopped chocolate. Use your spatula to fold in the last bits of flour and to distribute the chocolate pieces throughout the dough. Do not over mix.170 grams (1 cup; 6 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped (I used 72%)
- Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop the dough into 1½ tablespoon balls (approximately the size of a standard sized store-bought marshmallow) and place dough in tight rows onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Place dough balls in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. *Note - if dough is too warm to scoop easily, reverse the chilling step and chill first, then scoop. This will depend on your butter temperature and the ambient temperature of your kitchen.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C, Gas Mark 4) with rack in center of oven. Roll the dough balls in granulated sugar, covering thoroughly. Store sugar-coated dough balls in fridge until ready to bake to keep dough chilled.100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar, for rolling
- Evenly space 8 balls of sugar-covered dough onto a parchment lined half sheet baking pan. (I do two rows of 3, plus 2 in the center). Bake each sheet for 11-12 minutes. This will result in a cookie that is chewy and still moist. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to finish cooling.
- Use a cookie scoop. My go-to is a medium sized, 1 ½ tablespoon scoop (size 40).
- Immediately after removing cookies from oven, when still warm and pliable, place a round cookie cutter around the cookie and gently swirl it around to push the cookie back into a round shape. You can also flip a round drinking glass upside down and use the rim.
The Floured Table
Recipe Author: Kathleen Culver
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