Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies Three Ways

Servings: 3 dozen serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

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With this recipe for chocolate gingerbread cookies you can make three festive-looking holiday cookies using one easy batch of dough. 

Chocolate gingerbread cookies - a chewy chocolate ginger molasses cookie that everyone loves. You can make three festive-looking holiday cookies using one easy batch of dough. 

Every year I like to have one new cookie recipe to share with family and friends. This year, my new recipe is for Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies that I embellish in three different chocolaty ways.

The base is a variation of my go-to Christmas cookie for gift giving – a chewy chocolate ginger molasses cookie that everyone loves.

For a festive flourish, you can dip the cookies in melted white chocolate, top them with chocolate kisses, or tuck a truffle or caramel inside.

You can use all three options with this single batch of cookie dough, or just choose your favourite.

Watch how to make Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies:

This is a good recipe for cookie swaps because a single batch makes three dozen cookies. You can stretch that to four dozen if you make smallish cookies but keep in mind that smaller cookies will be more difficult to stuff.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned in)
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light-brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted (optional – for dipping)
  • Truffles, Rolos or caramels (optional – for stuffing)
  • Hershey’s Hugs or Kisses ((optional – for topping)

Instructions:

  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda & cocoa. In another bowl beat butter & brown sugar. Beat in molasses. Stir half of flour mixture into butter mixture, then the remaining half. Chill for 30 minutes, if you have time.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place cookies on baking sheet about 2″ apart.
  4. Bake about 12 minutes, until the surfaces crack slightly.
  5. Cool and dip in melted chocolate.

Other variations: 

  • If using the Hugs: Remove the cookies from the oven at the 8 minute mark. Top with unwrapped Hugs and return to oven for remainder of baking time.
  • If using truffles, Rolos or caramels: Quarter the truffles, use a whole Rolo or  or cut the caramels in half.
    1. Shape the dough into 1 1/2 ” balls and flatten the middle with your thumb. Place a truffle piece in the middle and roll the dough around it, being careful not to leave any holes or gaps. (You don’t want it to leak.)
    2. Roll the cookies in granulated sugar and place on a cookie sheet at least two inches apart. If you have time, chill them for 10 minutes before baking. Bake about 12 minutes, until the surfaces crack slightly.

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Chocolate gingerbread cookies - a chewy chocolate ginger molasses cookie that everyone loves. You can make three festive-looking holiday cookies using one easy batch of dough. 

Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee with Candied Ginger

Servings: 20 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch with Candied Ginger and dark chocolateCranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee: A crunchy butterscotch toffee that you just can’t stop eating…

I grew up eating a delicious toffee concoction called Fredericton Walnut Toffee. The recipe is from the excellent The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook and it’s a holiday favourite in our house. This Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee recipe is a variation of that iconic toffee. It has crunch and that irresistible butterscotch flavour, but the addition of hazelnuts, dried cranberries and candied ginger makes it extra festive. 

Hazelnuts can sometimes dominate in a recipe but here they’re a bit subdued in the lovely flavour trio they create with the cranberries and candied ginger. The chocolate is nice but the whole amount is unnecessary. Depending on your mood and preference, you can reduce the chocolate by half so omit it from the first layer and save it for the top.

Also, I prefer my buttercrunch on the thin side so spread this mixture out on a cookie sheet. If you like your buttercrunch thicker go with the 9”x13” pan for this recipe.

Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch with Candied Ginger and dark chocolate

 

The recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour. Their version called for corn syrup, of which I am not a fan. Fancy molasses is a natural, and wholesome, substitute for corn syrup.

Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee with Candied Ginger Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts (skins removed)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup diced candied ginger
  • 2 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (divided)*

Instructions:

  1. Line a 9”x13” pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Combine nuts, cranberries and candied ginger in a bowl and stir to mix.
  3. Pour half of the nut mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle over half of the chocolate chips.
  4. In a medium pot, over medium heat, melt the butter, stir in the salt, sugar, water and molasses and bring mixture to the boil.
  5. Boil gently without stirring until the mixtures reaches 300 F (hard crack stage). If you don’t have a candy thermometer test the caramel by dropping a dollop in a glass of cold water. If it hardens quickly and is brittle or breaks like hard candy then it’s ready. If it has some softness to it then it still has a little cooking to do. Watch it closely near the end so it doesn’t burn.
  6. When the toffee is ready pour it evenly over the nut mixture in the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle over the remaining half of the chocolate chips and then the remaining nut mixture.
  8. After 5 minutes or so, with the back of a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, gently press on the top mixture to spread the chocolate around.
  9. Leave to cool then break into chunks.
  10. Store in an airtight tin for up to three weeks.

*Using only half of the chocolate chips is nice too. Omit them from the base layer (step 3) and save them for the top layer (step 7).

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies dressed up for Christmas

Servings: 30 serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 23 minutes

Cooking time: 13 minutes

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Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies are chewy and lightly spiced for the holidays. 

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies

Sometimes everyday cookies can use a little decorating for Christmas. As with our homes, I suppose, a little festive touch can make the ordinary feel (or taste) a little special.

There are some cookies that I make every year: gingerbread cut out cookies, cornmeal biscotti and rugelach. That small list leaves room to add a few new recipes to my cookie plate each December.

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies

Fiddly cookies are not my thing so a simple peanut butter cookie dressed up with Hershey’s Hugs was an easy choice. Plus it was fun for my kids to help. We were an assembly line: I formed the cookie dough balls then they did the crisscross press with a fork and placed the Hugs in the centre of each cookie.

These are a chewy peanut butter cookie and lightly spiced for the holidays. I used natural peanut butter and they worked out well but the original recipe called for regular peanut butter.  Suit yourself.

By the way, peanut butter and molasses is an epic combination. Try it on toast.

peanut butter molasses cookies

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookie Recipe

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Adapted from Chocolate Moosey

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2 ¼ cups flour*
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 30 chocolate “kisses” or “hugs” (optional)**

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, beat together the molasses, butter, peanut butter brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture a cup at a time and mix until combined. (Add extra ¼ cup of flour if dough seems too soft).
  5. Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Press with the tines of a fork in a criss-cross pattern.
  6. Bake 11-13 minutes or until edges are firm.**
  7. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

*Start with the 2 cups of flour and only add the extra ¼ cup if your dough is too soft.

**If you’re adding the chocolates: When there are 5 minutes left, remove the pan from the oven and quickly place the chocolates. Return pan to the oven to finish baking.

 

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Five-spice candied nuts – quick to prepare and delicious

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Less than a week ’til Christmas. “Homemade gifts in under 20 minutes” sounds good to me…

I’m a sucker for spiced nuts. Ever since my sister started making these years ago I have been eating more than my fair share over the holidays.

They’re sweet, a little spicy and crispy with a light candy coating. They don’t stick in your teeth.

I make them to give as gifts but always make extra so there are left overs for use to nibble. They’re a practical snack to have around the house, store well and have a whiff of healthiness about them.

Better yet, they take almost no time to prepare.

Find this recipe and more in our little Holiday e-book.

Here’s a tip: If Chinese Five Spice powder isn’t your thing try chili powder or your favourite spice blend. And mix up the nuts too. Sometimes I make these just with almonds, or walnuts and sometimes I mix the two and throw in a few pecans.

Five-spice candied nuts

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups mixed nuts (raw)
  1. In a large saucepan or wok, melt butter.
  2. Add sugar, molasses, water, salt and spices. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add nuts to the mixture and cook until syrup thickly coats nuts, stirring frequently (5 minutes or so).
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 F until nuts are lightly toasted and a little crisp (10-15 minutes).

Test while baking to ensure you don’t overcook the nuts and the syrup doesn’t burn.

Nuts about nuts? Try Gingerbread spiced almonds.

What are your favourite homemade gifts to give (or receive)?

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