These delectable Chocolate Ginger Cookies come to life with Five-Spice Powder and chunks of chocolate, punctuated with dried cherries.

plate of chocolate ginger cookies with sugar being sprinkled on top
collage of photos of chocolate ginger cookies wrapped up for gift giving.

Why this particular version of cookie?

  • Giftable: this time of year, a cookie that is sturdy, and has wide appeal is a great option for gifting.
  • Flavor: After testing this recipe multiple times, I’ve developed a cookie full of flavor for you. It takes a ginger/molasses cookie to the next level.
  • Chew: If you like a chewy, versus a cakey or crisp cookie, this is your cookie of choice.
  • Ease of Prep: while you can’t pull this together using just one bowl, it is quick and simple. Mix dry, mix wet, combine. Also, no stand mixer or cookie scoop is required. We’re going old school with this recipe, using a handheld mixer, fork, and tablespoon! Finally, no chilling of the dough is required. You can mix it up and pan the cookies immediately.
  • Looks: The crackle top to this cookie with a dusting of sugar makes this cookie a holiday showstopper.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Chocolate: 70% dark chocolate chopped into large chunks is hard to resist, no?
  • Spices: Five-Spice Powder is a traditional Asian spice blend. It’s a mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds. It brings a more complex flavor and a bit of heat, giving these cookies a “Mexican Hot Chocolate” flavor.
  • Dried Cherries: If you can get your hands on the unsweetened variety of dried cherries, I recommend them. With only 1/3 of a cup in this recipe, they add an unexpected and occasional surprise. This addition brings brightness and tang to the cookie to balance the velvety richness of the chocolate.
  • Molasses: a key ingredient in ginger/molasses cookies, I’m offering two options. Molasses is the more traditional choice you are apt to have in your pantry. According to my research, most experienced bakers prefer Grandma’s Original over Blackstrap (considered too bitter).
  • White sugar: lends a bit of crispiness to the exterior of the cookie.
  • Ginger: ginger is not part of the Five-Spice Powder blend, so we add layers of it to this cookie. Fresh ginger is grated into the butter/sweetener mixture and ground ginger is part of the dry ingredients.
  • No eggs! That’s right, no eggs. I chose this option because eggs cause spreading and dry out a cookie. I wanted to ensure this cookie was chewy. You can eat the batter!
  • Butter: of course, but only 1 stick versus the two of many cookie recipes. Easily make this cookie vegan by using vegan butter.

Ingredient Substitutions:

I tested this recipe with molasses as well as Coconut Nectar, my personal favorite. Why coconut nectar? Mostly because its glycemic index is much lower (35 vs. 55) than molasses. I love the Coconuut Secret brand and use their other products regularly. Their Coconut Nectar is not available right now on Amazon. Pro tip: their coconut aminos are a much lower sodium option than soy sauce/tamari. But I digress- molasses or coconut nectar work well here and the flavor difference was indistinguishable.

How to make these cookies:

  1. You will need two bowls to make these cookies. A simple mixing of dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl leads to a quick preparation.
  2. Dry ingredients: Whisk the flour, cocoa, spices, and salt in a medium bowl together to distribute as mentioned above.
  3. Wet ingredients: Soften the butter, then mix with a hand mixer to blend with the sugar, molasses, and freshly grated ginger.
  4. Mixing: Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet with the hand mixer or move to a silicone spatula). Add the below baking soda mixture and then add the rest of the dry ingredients (using a spatula or wooden spoon). As always, mix thoroughly but don’t overmix. You don’t want to activate the gluten too much and get tough cookies!
  5. Baking Soda: I learned that if you dissolve the baking soda into boiling/hot water, its chemical reaction begins and helps the cookies to rise. Without the egg, I liked how this created a slightly puffy but chewy texture. I balked at the added step but ultimately it was simple. Hot tap water is fine and is what I used.
  6. Mix-ins: At this point, I switch to a fork, to work in the chocolate chunks and dried cherries for ease of distribution.
  7. While the cookies aren’t a simple drop from the spoon cookie, they quickly come together by grabbing 1 tablespoon of dough, rolling so the ball is smoothish, then quickly rolling in a sugar/five-spice powder mix. The cookies don’t spread much so you can lay them fairly close to one another (I fit 16 on a 12″ x 13″ baking sheet).
  8. Final touches: When you take the cookies out of the oven, a drop of the pan onto the counter, helps them to deflate and take on the perfect chewy texture. A dusting of the spiced sugar looks nice and adds extra flavor and sweetness.

With ease of prep and such great flavor, not to mention the giftability and the pretty crackle finish, these chewy cookies are ready for you to make!

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plate of chocolate ginger cookies with sugar being sprinkled on top

Chocolate Ginger Cookies

AuthorKathy Marshall
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings24 cookies
Calories138
These delectable Chocolate Ginger Cookies come to life with Five-Spice Powder and chunks of chocolate, punctuated with dried cherries.
Kitchen Tools
  • 1 baking sheet
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 hand mixer
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 fork
  • 1 tablespoon

Ingredients
 

Dry Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
Wet Ingredients/sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses (or coconut nectar for lower glycemic index)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
Leavening agent
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp hot water
Mix-ins
  • 4 oz 70% dark chocolate (chopped into 1/4-1/2" chunks)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (to roll the cookie doughballs in)
  • 1 tbsp five-spice powder (to roll the cookie doughballs in)

Method:  

  • Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place rack in middle of oven.
Mix dry ingredients
  • Measure the flour, cocoa, five-spice powder, ginger and salt into a bowl. Use a whisk to distribute spices and cocoa thoroughly throughout flour, taking care to break up any cocoa clumps (or toss cocoa through a strainer/sieve to break up clumps).
Mix wet ingredients with sugar/fresh ginger
  • Butter should be soft enough to mix with hand mixer (or by hand or stand mixer, your call). I typically need to microwave it for 10 seconds as our kitchen is cool.
  • Place softened butter, molasses (or coconut nectar), white sugar and freshly grated ginger in bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Blend the cookie batter
  • Mix the baking soda and water in small container to create a slurry.
  • Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture using the stand mixer or silicon spatula (or wooden spoon). Don't mix entirely. Add baking soda slurry, mix (but don't overmix), then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Before fully incorporated, add the chocolate chunks and dried cherries and use a fork to incorporate. To avoid tough cookies, you want the flour incorporated well, but you don't want to stir vigorously and you should stop as soon as the mixture comes together as in photos.
Bake the cookies
  • Scoop dough up by tablespoonful, roll briefly in hands to smooth out, roll in a mixture of extra white sugar mixed with the five-spice powder, and lay on baking sheet 1-2" apart (I fit 16 balls on a 12" x 13" sheet).
  • Bake for 12 minutes. When you remove cookies from oven they should still be soft and should not have browned or collapsed.
  • Drop the baking sheet onto the counter, so as not to disturb the cookies other than they will collapse slightly for a perfect chewy texture.
  • I like to pull the parchment sheet off the hot baking sheet, with the cookies on it, so they cool and do not cook any further.
  • If desired, sprinkle with more of the sugar/five-spice powder mixture.
  • Store as you like, or freeze.

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg | Magnesium: 29mg
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