Chocolate ginger cookies are intensely chocolatey, soft chewy cookies punctuated with bits of crystallized ginger! The ginger brings its sweet, spicy bite, and the chocolate balances everything out. Recipe makes just 1 dozen cookies in less than 30 minutes–no dough chilling required!
Chocolate ginger cookies
A few years ago, in graduate school, I fell in love with a bar of chocolate from Whole Foods that contained little bits of crystallized ginger. My Mom would come visit me in California, and I would always buy this chocolate bar for us to nibble on after dinner or with wine. My love for a sweet silky-smooth chocolate bar with bites of spicy-sweet ginger is huge. I think the granulated sugar from the ginger is also part of the big love I have for this flavor combination.
If you’re looking for a way to make soft, chewy chocolate cookies with a new spin, these chocolate ginger cookies are your answer! Yes, you have to love ginger to make these cookies. If you love my gingerbread cut out cookies, you’ll love these. The spicy flavor of ginger belongs in our desserts all year, not just during the holidays!
When I make my chocolate shortbread, I always want to add some ground ginger to the dough, but the chewiness of the cookies is so good with the chewy ginger pieces, so I think this is the way I will be getting my chocolate ginger fix from now on.
What is crystallized ginger exactly:
First, let’s make sure the ginger you want to bake with is the right type. We’re not using the chewy ginger candy here, because they will melt in the cookie. Crystallized ginger looks like this, and the label will say ‘crystallized,’ which means it’s been cooked in a sugar syrup, allowed to dry and then coated in additional granulated sugar to keep the pieces from sticking to each other.
I’ve seen crystallized ginger in cubes and strips, and either will work for this recipe. We’re going to finely dice the ginger with a knife sprayed with cooking spray (to keep it from sticking) into tiny bits. There is a photo below with the size of pieces of ginger, for reference.
- butter: Unsalted butter is best for baking, and then we’ll add our own level of salt to the recipe.
- granulated sugar
- egg yolk: This recipe only uses the yolk of one egg; for recipes to use leftover egg whites, try here.
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- cocoa powder: Unsweetened, natural cocoa powder–not dark or Dutch processed cocoa powder, which has a different pH and will effect the rising of the cookies.
- instant espresso powder: A small amount of espresso powder is optional, but it really heightens the flavor of the chocolate.
- baking powder
- crystallized ginger pieces: Remember: the label will say CRYSTALLIZED ginger, which means it’s been cooked in sugar syrup and coated with extra granulated sugar to keep the pieces separate. They come in cubes or strips, and here is a brand that I like.
- chocolate chips: I like semisweet or dark chocolate chips in this recipe.
How to make chocolate ginger cookies:
- Gather your ingredients, preheat the oven to 375-degrees F, and ensure that the butter is softened. To soften butter, unwrap it and leave it at room temperature for about 45 minutes. It should be soft enough to push a finger into it to make an indent, but not so soft that your finger goes all the way through the stick.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar. Then, add the egg yolk and vanilla, and beat again.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. To this mixture, stir in the chopped ginger pieces and chocolate chips. Coating the ginger and chocolate chips in flour helps them evenly disperse into the dough.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until well combined. Scoop out large scoops (about 2 tablespoons each) of the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Give the cookies at least 2 inches to spread in all directions, however, leave the cookies mounded up into balls to limit spreading.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, and then check on them in the oven–if the edges are starting to set, they’re done; if not, leave them in there for up to 13 minutes.
I think you will love these intensely chocolate rich cookies with bites of ginger! If you’re a ginger lover, you will also love my small batch of ginger peach cupcakes! I’m such a ginger lover, that I frequently bake with fresh ginger.
To keep fresh ginger around longer, peel it when you get it home from the grocery store (use the back of a spoon for this), and then place the ginger ‘fingers’ in a plastic freezer bag. The ginger will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. I pull it out and grate it while frozen, and it looks like ginger snow. When it melts, it’s as good as fresh ginger!
If you’re looking for a recipe with dried, ground ginger, try my lemon ginger thumbprint cookies! I love the tangy pop of lemon curd with ginger, and I think you will, too!
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cubed crystallized ginger
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat to help reduce cookie spread.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. When light and fluffy, add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the ginger and chocolate stir to coat them in flour so they won't sink to the bottom of the cookies. Now add this mixture to the wet mixture and fold to combine.
- Drop large scoops of dough (2 tablespoons each) onto a cookie sheet, evenly spaced. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges of the cookie begins to set and the middles aren't wet. Let cool on the sheet pan 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
butter: Unsalted butter is best for baking, and then we'll add our own level of salt to the recipe.
egg yolk: This recipe only uses the yolk of one egg; for recipes to use leftover egg whites, try here.
cocoa powder: Unsweetened, natural cocoa powder--not dark or Dutch processed cocoa powder, which has a different pH and will effect the rising of the cookies.
instant espresso powder: A small amount of espresso powder is optional, but it really heightens the flavor of the chocolate.
crystallized ginger pieces: Remember: the label will say CRYSTALLIZED ginger, which means it's been cooked in sugar syrup and coated with extra granulated sugar to keep the pieces separate. They come in cubes or strips, and here is a brand that I like.
chocolate chips: I like semisweet or dark chocolate chips in this recipe.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 136Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 72mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g