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Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are the perfect holiday cookie! They’re a great blend of chocolate and gingerbread flavors, with a chocolate star in the middle, and they keep their soft and chewy texture for days.
I first shared this recipe four years ago, and since then, these cookies have become a yearly tradition with my family. This year, I’ve updated the post with bigger photos and a video recipe showing how to make them. I hope you’ll check out the video showing how it’s done, and then try them yourself–I know you’ll love them!
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Put down the cookbooks! I have found the perfect Christmas cookie. Bold words, I know. But hear me out.
First of all, they’re cute. Some might even say “cute as a button.”
Second, they’re packed with holiday flavors like cinnamon, ginger, molasses, chocolate (chocolate is an every-time flavor!), and orange zest.
Third, one batch make a ton—about 5 dozen cookies. That’s going to go a long way toward filling holes in your cookie plates!
And finally, these cookies have the most desirable holiday trait of all, which is that they stay moist for a crazy long amount of time. Like, a week later, after being stored at room temperature in a plastic tub, they’re still soft and delicious with nary a stale crumb. If I didn’t make them myself, I would suspect preservative shenanigans.
But I did make them myself, and I practically ate all of them myself, so I can vouch for the stay-softiness, and easy-of-makingness, and just general deliciousness of these cookies.
They may not look like the fanciest cookie—in fact, Jason said several times, with an almost insulting amount of surprise in his voice, “Wow, these taste way better than they look!”*—but they do have a certain sweet charm to them, especially when topped with a star-shaped chocolate button. I used Brach’s milk chocolate stars, which can usually be found in the Baking aisle around the holidays. If you can’t find them, then unwrapped Hershey’s kisses would be a good substitute.
*A classic example of the complisult, the love child of a compliment and insult. Hurts so good! However, Jason does an unholy amount of dishes for me, so he gets a complisult pass every now and then.
The flavor of these cookies is heavy on the gingerbread, and lighter on the chocolate. I based them on a gingersnap molasses cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but added cocoa to the dough, as well as a little orange zest. The orange may seem out of place, but I think it ties together the ginger and chocolate elements, while adding a light, fresh flavor that keeps the ginger taste from becoming too intense. If you’re suspicious, you’re welcome to leave it out…but really…don’t you trust me?
And thus ends the quest for the perfect holiday cookie. Now you’ll just have to take all that time you were going to spend testing recipes and devote it to online shopping instead. You’re welcome!
P.S. Just can’t get enough of that chocolate-gingerbread flavor combination? You’ve got to try these Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Soft Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
- 12 1/3 oz all-purpose flour (2 3/4 cups)
- 3/4 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 oz butter (3/4 cup), at room temperature
- 5 2/3 oz brown sugar (3/4 cup), packed
- 1 3/4 oz granulated sugar (1/4 cup), plus extra for rolling
- 4 1/2 oz unsulfured molasses (1/3 cup)
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp packed orange zest (from 1/2 large orange)
- 60 milk chocolate stars or chocolate kisses
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, all spices, and salt, Set aside for a moment.
- Place the butter and both sugars in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add the molasses, egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest, and beat until well-mixed. The mixture might look a little broken at this point. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just a few streaks of flour remain. Finish mixing by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a spatula.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of cling wrap, and wrap it well. Chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour some granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll the chilled cookie dough into small 1-inch balls and roll the balls in granulated sugar. Place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 7-8 minutes, until puffed and dry in the center, but still soft.
- Remove the tray from the oven, and immediately press a chocolate star or unwrapped chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Let them cool completely on the baking sheet. These cookies keep amazingly well and, if stored in an airtight container at room temperature, will be soft and moist for up to a week after baking.