Dorie Greenspan’s Double-Ginger Molasses Cookies

updated Jan 21, 2021
christmas
Double-Ginger Molasses Cookies

Unlike traditional ginger cookies, we've added crystallized ginger, chopped dark chocolate, and espresso powder to our recipe to make them really stand out.

Makesabout 36 cookies

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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This recipe is part of our Quarantine Cookies package, featuring 16 of our favorite bakers and their best cookie for 2020. Check out all the amazing cookies here, and sign up here to receive one cookie recipe per day, for 20 days, straight to your inbox.

What a year 2020 has been! I don’t know that I’ve ever baked more in a year. I’ve baked for the pleasure of baking, for the joy of sharing, and for the comfort that making something with my hands always brings.

I baked these cookies early in 2020 and I never stopped. They’re supremely comforting, but I love that they’re also surprising — everything about them is unexpected, from the intriguing mix of flavors and texture to the unusual way they’re baked.  Like traditional ginger cookies, these have molasses, ginger (of course), cinnamon, and cloves, but I’ve also added crystallized ginger (sometimes called candied ginger), chopped dark chocolate, and, if you’d like (and I always do), some espresso powder. These ingredients build up the cookies’ flavor and, because the ginger and chocolate are cut into bits, give them more texture — I love that you get the ginger and chocolate intermittently, that every bite contains its own quirky combo. 

While the dough could be shaped into balls and baked as ginger cookies are conventionally, I like to bake these in muffin tins. Pressed into a tin, the cookies grow tall, chubby, and delightfully chewy. They emerge teetering on the brink of gingerbread cakehood. If you’re not going to pack these into cookie boxes for the holidays, think about dipping the tops in dark chocolate ganache.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Tester’s Note

Instead of using a muffin tin, I opted for a 1-inch cookie scoop (which felt easier and less fussy), and it yielded me nearly five-dozen cookies. It sounds like a lot, but after mailing some out to friends (their extra-sturdy texture makes them perfect candidates for shipping) and stashing some in the freezer for later, the batch went fast. Don’t fret if you don’t have any espresso powder — you’ll never miss it in the cookies. Just don’t skip over the candied ginger, as it’s a huge part of what makes these spiced, chewy cookies so memorable.  — Kelli Foster, Food Editor, Plan & Prep

Double-Ginger Molasses Cookies

Unlike traditional ginger cookies, we've added crystallized ginger, chopped dark chocolate, and espresso powder to our recipe to make them really stand out.

Makes about 36 cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons

    instant espresso powder, to taste (optional)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    fine sea salt

  • 1 1/2 sticks

    (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1

    large egg yolk, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup

    unsulfured molasses

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    pure vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup

    chopped candied ginger, or 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger mixed with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (see above)

  • 7 ounces

    semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • Granulated sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa, espresso (if using), spices, baking soda and salt together.

  2. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-low speed for about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed, until fully blended. Add the yolk and beat for 1 minute, then add the molasses and vanilla, beating until smooth. Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse the mixer until the risk of flying flour passes. Working on low speed, mix the dough until the flour is almost but not completely incorporated. Add the crystallized ginger (or the sugared fresh ginger) and chocolate and mix until the dry ingredients disappear into the dough and the ginger and chocolate are evenly distributed. If you’ve got bits of dry ingredients on the bottom of the bowl, mix them in with a flexible spatula.

  3. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

  4. When you’re ready to bake, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray regular muffin tins or, if making freeform cookies, line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  5. Have a medium cookie scoop at hand. Alternatively, you can use a rounded tablespoonful of dough for each cookie. If you’re using tins, find a jar or glass that fits into them and can be used to flatten the dough; wrap the bottom in plastic wrap. Spoon some sugar into a wide shallow bowl.

  6. For each cookie, mold a scoop or spoonful of dough into a ball between your palms, then turn it in the sugar to coat and put in a muffin cup or on a baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each ball of dough. If using tins, use the jar or glass to flatten each ball until it almost reaches the sides of the cup. If it’s freeform, press to flatten to about 1/2-inch thick.

  7. Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be lightly set around the edges and softer in the center. Transfer the sheets or tins to racks and let the cookies rest for 15 minutes before unmolding them and/or placing them on racks to cool completely.

  8. If you’re baking in batches, make certain to start with cool tins or baking sheets.

Recipe Notes

Playing around: To make a ginger-chocolate ganache that you can use to finish the cookies, bring 2/3 cup heavy cream and four 1/4-inch-thick slices of fresh ginger to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow the cream to infuse for 20 minutes. Return the cream to the boil, then remove the ginger and pour half of the cream over 6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate. Wait for 30 seconds, stir gently and then stir in the remainder of the cream. Dip the top or one side of each cookie in the chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill for 20 minutes to set the chocolate. Bring the cookies to room temperature before serving.

Make ahead: You can refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days. You can also scoop out the dough, shape into balls and freeze the balls on baking sheets; when they’re firm, pack them airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove the dough from the freezer and let the balls sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then roll in sugar and bake.

Storage: The baked cookies can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 4 days. They’ll get a little drier and a little less chewy, but that will make them even better for dunking.

Excerpted from DORIE’S COOKIES © 2016 by Dorie Greenspan Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Rux Martin Books. All rights reserved.