Baking gingerbread cookies is the most enduring tradition in my household.
I grew up baking cut out cookies with my mom and then we’d paint them with a simple milk and icing sugar frosting. My brothers, sisters and I would spend half a day at the kitchen table with bowls of tinted frosting, red and green sprinkles and little silver balls, decorating dozens of cookies and listening to Roger Whittaker’s Christmas album. To this day the song Darcy the Dragon takes me back to the kitchen table in the house where I grew up.
I still love painting Christmas cookies and my kids consider it a sacred Holiday tradition so there is at least one day before Christmas when we all sit down to an afternoon of painting, usually with a few friends.
My kids are masters of the one-tonne cookie, a cookie that is so loaded with icing and sprinkles that you need a spatula to lift it off the table and onto a plate to dry.
Whatever you bake for the Holidays, you’ll notice that it’s not so much the finished product that creates the memories, but the whole process…
For me it’s digging out the cookie cutters, and having my kids by my side at the counter as we roll, press and lift the cut-outs onto the cookie sheet. It’s the sweet and spicy smell of the house when the cookies are in the oven and the giggles in the kitchen as we paint and sprinkle away.
This chocolate gingerbread recipe is a new take on gingerbread cut-out cookies. They have an intense chocolaty flavour but aren’t overly sweet, making them perfect for decorating and sandwiching. The dough is soft and barely needs flour for rolling. If you want the cookies to be harder just bake them a little longer.
Chocolate gingerbread cut-out cookies
- 3 ¼ cups flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cloves
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. butter
- ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 lg. egg
- ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour with the cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl beat the softened butter with the brown sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, then molasses, then melted chocolate.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, incorporating well between additions.
- Scrape dough from bowl and divide into three equal pieces. Pat each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼” thick. (You really won’t need much flour.)
- Place cut-out cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 F for about 7 minutes.
This lovely dough is a synch to mix and roll:
One more thing…
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