Dark chocolate meets spicy gingerbread in this intensely satisfying holiday cookie. Studded with chunks of even more dark chocolate and bits of crystalized ginger that only adds to the appeal.
Part chocolate cookie, part brownie, part gingerbread… and entirely delicious. These unique and intensely flavored cookies are sure to be a hit this holiday season!
I’m determined to make chocolate and ginger a more popular holiday combination, because it’s a seriously underrated pairing that deserves all the love.
And much like my gingerbread brownies or chocolate-filled gingerbread thumbprints, these cookies pair the sultry spice of gingerbread with the robust bitterness of dark chocolate, and the results are out of this world.
If you love rich, intensely dark chocolate, and you love extra spicy gingerbread, and you’ve been known to pop pieces of candied ginger straight from the bag… well, these cookies are made for you and you alone.
I realize not everyone loves dark chocolate or ginger as much as I do (my husband included… he has some weird aversion to ginger in desserts, and yet, he still managed to eat more of these cookies than he’s willing to admit), but for those like me, you will gobble these up.
The cookie itself comes together more like a brownie than a cookie, starting with melted butter and chocolate that’s then beaten with the sugar and egg until lightened in color.
While the proportions are very similar to other chocolate cookies I’ve made in the past, simply changing the process results in a chewy, ultra-fudgy cookie that somehow combines the best of both brownies and cookies in one delightful package that stays moist and chewy for days (you can thank the molasses for that!)
I originally wanted to just highlight the chocolate and ginger pairing, but ultimately realized that the other spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, as well as the molasses, really serve to round out the heat of the ginger which can be a bit sharp on its own. There’s a reason these spices are usually found together.
And yet, the ginger is still the most prominent flavor here, with the ground ginger in the batter and the bits of soft, spicy sweet crystalized ginger scattered throughout, so I still feel justified calling them chocolate ginger cookies.
While good quality Dutch processed cocoa will produce delightfully dark cookies, I swapped out 1 tablespoon of the Dutch cocoa for black cocoa (which is essentially double-Dutched or extra-Dutched, making it even more intense and dark). This results in extra dark chocolate cookies and make the molten chunks of chocolate seem light by comparison.
That said, you can certainly used all Dutched cocoa here too. Just please don’t use all black cocoa, it has much less fat and will result in a harsh, dry cookie if that’s all you used.
As for the chocolate chunks, much like my Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies I like using a mix of various shapes and percentages, which gives it a really beautiful appearance. Chop a bit of extra chocolate and ginger and press some pieces on top of the balls of dough before baking so you’ll end up with picture-perfect puddles of melted chocolate on top of your cookies.
Let me just say up front: these cookies don’t come out of the oven looking very pretty. But this fact does give me the chance to employ one of my favorite cookie tricks of all…
Immediately after removing them from the oven, take a large round cookie cutter (it must be bigger than your largest cookie, I use the largest cutter in this set) and run it around the outside edge of the cookie, like a spirograph (remember those?) This will tighten up the wonky, spread-out silhouette, creating gorgeous wrinkled edges and a perfectly round shape. You can also use the inside curves of two large soup spoons to pat around the edges of the cookie to create a similar effect.
This trick works wonders for these cookies and any cookie that spreads too much or spreads unevenly. It really is a game changer!
Another favorite cookie-baking trick is adding a few extra bits on top of the ball of cookie dough before you pop it in the oven. These extra bits stay on top of the cookie as it bakes and spreads, so when your cookies come out they are the picture of perfection.
This is totally optional, but if you want people to see that there is indeed candied ginger and chunks of chocolate inside the cookies, it’s helpful to have a few bits visible on top too.
As decadent as these cookies are right out of the oven, when they’re still warm and slightly molten with puddles of melted chocolate throughout, you’ll have to believe me when I say that they’re even better the following day.
As is the case with many spiced confections, the spices evolve overnight; the harsh bite of the ginger softens, mingling with the bitter notes of the molasses and dark chocolate in a way that’s both smooth and refined and intensely flavorful.
And intense perhaps the perfect word to describe these cookies, from the ginger to the spices to the double dose of dark chocolate that somehow matches the fire of the ginger and complements it at the same time, these cookies are intense in every sense of the word. Intensely flavored, intensely satisfying, intensely delicious!
Double Dark Chocolate Ginger Cookies
Part chocolate cookie, part brownie, part gingerbread, and studded with chunks of even more dark chocolate and bits of crystalized ginger.
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (22g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted (use up to 1 tablespoon black cocoa for ultra-dark cookies)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch ground nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter
- 2 ounces (58g) 60-70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- 1/3 cup (50g) chopped crystalized ginger, plus more for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until evenly mixed. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once it’s fully melted, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth (the residual heat in the pan should be enough to melt it fully).
- Transfer melted chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add sugar and mix until evenly moistened. Add egg and egg yolk and beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes or until mixture lightens in color. Mix in molasses and vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated, and no streaks of lighter colored batter remain. Add chocolate chips and chopped ginger and fold until evenly incorporated.
- Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes to make it easier to scoop.
- Use a medium (#40) cookie scoop to form dough into approximately 1 3/4″ balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between cookies to allow for spreading. Press a few chocolate chips and pieces of ginger into the top of the dough. You can also freeze dough balls at this point to bake later.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until evenly spread and centers are puffed (about 2 minutes longer if baking from frozen). As you remove the cookies from the oven, give them a good hard rap on the oven rack which will deflate the tops.
- Remove from oven and immediately run a large cookie cutter around the outsides of the cookie to tuck in the uneven edges and shape the cookies into even circles (you can also use two soup spoons to similar effect). Let cool for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.