Recipe Exchange: Chocolate Gingerbread

Chocolate, Christmas Recipes, Cookies, Dessert, Holiday Recipes, Kid Friendly Recipes, Recipe Exchange, Seasonal Recipes | 42 comments

About a week ago, Logan came to me with one of his children’s cookbooks. This particular book was a baking book put out by a flour company. He turned to a page with gingerbread boys and with wide eyes asked when we could make cookies like that. Who could say no to that? Certainly not me!

chocolate gingerbread boy cookies

We usually stick to tradition and make Eric’s recipe for German Cut-Out Cookies during the Holidays (we’ve even made them for Valentine’s Day), but I figured we could do both this year. Nothing wrong with making changes to our traditions. And with that attitude in mind, I decided to make a few changes to a traditional Gingerbread Cookie recipe. I was craving chocolate.

Chocolate gingerbread? Oh yes! These spicy gingerbread cookies have a hint of chocolate and a bit of orange zest. They’re so rich in flavor, but not too rich or different that your kids or traditional gingerbread lovers won’t like them. Because the cookies are so packed with flavor, I kept them simple. No need to add mounds of icing. A quick outline and/or some buttons are all you really need. And of course a mug of milk for dunking.

chocolate gingerbread cookies

Oops! This guy lost his head! As you can see, I’m not the best at piping the edges of the cookies, but even though the lines aren’t steady and smooth, I thought this one turned out too cute to not share the photo with you. Check out Jamie’s post here: Holiday Recipe Exchange: Peppermint Brownies.

Do you like experimenting with out-of-the-box flavor combination? You should check out the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest. This year the contest focuses on fun and unique cupcake flavors.  If you’re up for a challenge, take your chance at winning big – a total of $20,000 in prizes. And that’s not all. The winning recipe will be featured in Food Network Magazine.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

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3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft but still cool and cut into 12 pieces
1 egg, room temperature
3/4 cup molasses
2 ounces Scharffen Berger 62% Cacao Semisweet Chocolate, very finely chopped
optional stir in: 3/4 cup dried cranberries


In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk beater stir together the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and zest at low speed until combined. Stop the mixer and add the butter pieces; mix at medium-low speed until the mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the chopped chocolate and stir to combine. Remove the whisk beater and add the paddle.

Whisk the egg and molasses together. Reduce the speed to low and, with the mixture running, gradually add the molasses mixture. Mix until the dough is moist, then increase the speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.

Scrape the dough onto a work surface. Divide it in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour, or until firm enough to work with without becoming sticky.

Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough into 1/4 inch thick between two sheets of parchment paper. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment paper, stack the dough on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove 1 dough sheet from the freezer and place on a work surface. Peel off the top parchment sheet and gently lay it back in place. Flip the dough, remove the bottom layer and discard.

Cut the dough into 5-inch gingerbread people or 3-inch gingerbread cookies, transferring the shapes to the baking sheet with a wide, metal spatula and spacing them 3/4 inch apart. Set the scrapes aside for reuse.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes on the middle rack. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Frost as desired, once completely cool.

How To Participate

For a chance to win a $100 Scharffen Berger Prize Pack:

  1. Write and post a recipe on your blog featuring CHOCOLATE.
  2. Include “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Scharffen Berger.” in your blog post.
  3. Add your link to the widget on either GoodLife Eats or My Baking Addiction (we have the same widget code, so only add it on one site).
  4. Submit your post before Dec. 4, 11:59 AM. On Dec. 5, 12:00 AM the widget will switch to voting mode. Be sure to encourage your readers to vote for you and/or vote for your favorites.
  5. Anyone can participate in the link up, but the prize will ship to US residents only.
  6. More detailed info, including buttons for your posts are available here.

Note: Please note the following change in the rules due to suspected fraudulent voting practices:

If you have already a won previous contest in the Holiday Recipe Exchange, your entry will defer to second place. We truly appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and fantastic contributions, but we want to spread the prize love around and give everyone the opportunity to win!

It is quite unfortunate that our efforts to create a contest in good fun has resulted in fraudulent behavior to win prizes; however, please know that we are doing everything we can to remedy the situation. We hope you continue to participate have a great time in the process.

Link Up Your Recipes:


This Week’s Prize:

$100 Scharffen Berger Chocolate Prize Pack (1 winner), provided by Scharffen Berger.

Recipe Theme Schedule:

We still have three weeks open for this Holiday season. If you would like to discuss scheduling a sponsored recipe exchange please contact Katie or Jamie to discuss availability and themes.

recipe exchange schedule

click image to enlarge

How To Promote:

Help us spread the word by letting your friends, family, and followers know about the contest. Email, Facebook, Tweet, Stumble…anything you want to do to promote this post is welcome.

  • Sample Tweet 1: Join @GoodLifeEats and @BakingAddiction for a Holiday Recipe Exchange. See how you can participate (and WIN) here: Pls RT
  • Sample Tweet 2: Enter CHOCOLATE recipes in @GoodLifeEats & @BakingAddiction Recipe Exchange 4 chance @ $100 @scharffenberger gift
  • Sample Tweet 3: Have a winning CHOCOLATE recipe? Share in @GoodLifeEats & @BakingAddiction Recipe Exchange 4 chance @ $100 GIFT
  • Sample Tweet 4: Vote 4 my CHOCOLATE recipe in @GoodLifeEats & @BakingAddiction Recipe Exch so I can win $100 @scharffenberger basket

More Chocolate Recipes:

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    The Blue-Eyed Bakers - December 01, 2010 @ 5:12 am

    We adore gingerbread…and of course we adore chocolate…so these little cookies look just amazing to us! We will definitely be giving these a go!


  • 2
    Chris - December 01, 2010 @ 5:13 am

    Love the head nibble! So cute. I like the idea of chocolate in the recipe. It would mesh well when I take my lazy girl shortcuts and dip my lil’ people’s feet and hands in chocolate for my decoration. :)


  • 3
    Mark Scarbrough - December 01, 2010 @ 6:12 am

    I love the gingerbread man with the bite out of the head! And the icing around it. Very cute.

    But not as much as I love ginger and chocolate. It’s a great combo, to say the least.


  • 4
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - December 01, 2010 @ 7:35 am

    I love how your man is missing his head! So flippin’ cute! :)


  • 5
    Heather (Heather's Dish) - December 01, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    what an amazing idea! plus i love that they actually are still the same color as the original gingerbread…you could play many a trick on people with those bad boys :)


  • 6
    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries - December 01, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    Funny, I was thinking of making chocolate gingerbread sandwich cookies, but couldn’t find a good recipe. I may have just done so! Thinking a light layer of cream cheese frostng would be just lovely.


  • 7
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - December 01, 2010 @ 8:24 am

    Your cookies look beautiful! Now I’m craving some chocolate gingerbread. I love the one with the bite out of it, too. Cute!


  • 8
    Cheri - December 01, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    These sound so perfect Katie! And, they turned out so adorable. As usual your photos are stunning!


  • 9
    Shaina - December 01, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    I have to think of something to make! I still have Scharffen Berger in my pantry to use, so this will be the perfect reason to get it out and use it up.


  • 10
    Lynn - December 01, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    Thanks for the heads up on the contest. I love the cookies you made and your photos are so beautiful!


  • 11
    Melanie - December 01, 2010 @ 11:22 am

    Chocolate and gingerbread are a powerful combo – these look festive and delicious!


  • 12
    Wenderly - December 01, 2010 @ 11:23 am

    Did you say chocolate? I’m in!


  • 13
    Deliciously Organic - December 01, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! I love the gingerbread who “lost his head”. Too cute!


  • 14
    Jennie @ Oh, Sweet Day! - December 01, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    These look SO cute and I love the chocolate with gingerbread!!


  • 15
    Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) - December 01, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

    What a great idea to add some chocolate and orange zest! Mmmm… gingerbread boys are a tradition in our family, as well. I just might have to propose this recipe to my MIL this year! Thanks!


  • 16
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - December 01, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    Probably my one of my favorite photos of yours…ever! I love these cookies!!!


  • 17
    SMITH BITES - December 02, 2010 @ 4:39 am

    gosh Katie ~ beautiful photos and of course the chocolate gingerbread ain’t to shabby either!!


  • 18
    Natalie - December 02, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    Chocolate and gingerbread – genius! Two of my favorites.


  • 19
    Kristen - December 02, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    Lovely little gingerbread man!


  • 20
    Jenn from Much to My Delight - December 02, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

    Wow–your food styling skills are seriously off the charts. I’ve never heard of chocolate gingerbread, but I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be a huge improvement on the original!


  • 21
    Nienke at Revel - December 02, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

    Wow, spicy ginger, chocolate, AND orange: sounds like a killer christmas flavour combo!

    And beautiful pictures, as always :)


  • 22
    Mariko - December 03, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    That little headless cookie is so cute, though.
    Thanks for reminding me about the contest! I wonder if I can get something ready….


  • 23
    Tia - December 05, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

    Out of curiosity, what did you use for the icing? It looks more substantial than the gingerbread frosting I’m used to using/making!

    Oh, and I’m absolutely making these. lol They sound delicious!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — December 6th, 2010 @ 5:58 AM

      I used this recipe for Royal Icing and added a little vanilla extract.

  • 24
    Renee (Kudos Kitchen) - December 07, 2010 @ 7:12 am

    There are some really talented bakers involved here. So hard to cast a vote for just one (but I managed). Your chocolate gingerbread man with the bite take out is just adorable. This recipe sounds delish as well!


  • 25
    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle - December 07, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    I used to make decorated sugar and gingerbread cookies when my children were younger…thanks for the memories…and what beautiful photos; love them!


  • 26
    Jerri - December 16, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

    Your gingerbread looks yummy! And really cute!


  • 27
    Rachel - December 18, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    Katie, these sound amazing! I love the addition of the orange and chocolate!

    Your pictures are always so beautiful.


  • 28
    cheree - December 22, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    How many cookies does this recipe make?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — December 23rd, 2010 @ 9:33 AM

      20-30 depending on the size of the cookie.

  • 29
    Lindsey - November 30, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    Hi Katie! Looks awesome! What icing recipe did you use for those cute little buttons on the gingerbread man?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — November 30th, 2011 @ 4:44 PM

      I just made a thick powdered sugar glaze. Mixed powdered sugar with milk and vanilla, I think.

  • 30
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts - December 07, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    These are so cute! And I love that they have the hint of chocolate to them. So much fun when the kids get it and have requests about what to make!


  • 31
    PJ MARSZALEK - December 16, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    Katie, you have done it again…created another yummy sounding and adorable recipes. I can’t wait to bake some. Happy Holidays to you! =D


  • 32
    Cheryl - August 23, 2012 @ 12:22 am

    These are awesome! These are going to make great classroom gifts this Christmas! Thanks for the inspiration!


  • 33
    Noura - September 17, 2012 @ 6:30 am

    Is it necessary to use this brand of unsweetened cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 17th, 2012 @ 6:57 AM

      It is what I prefer to use, but no it is not necessary.

  • 34
    Tammy - September 26, 2012 @ 2:31 am

    Would these freeze well? Looking at doing some freezer cookies for xmas and love these.


  • 35
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking - December 26, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    These are so cute! I especially love the partly decapitated one. You made partly decapitated adorable. :)

    And I think you did a great job of piping!


  • 36
    Alicia - November 22, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

    How long would you say these would last after baking? I know that typical gingerbread cookies last a few weeks with proper care, but I wasn’t sure if the adjustments to this recipe make them more like chocolate chip cookies that only last a few days? I’d love to make these ahead of time for a decorating party next week.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie Goodman replied: — November 22nd, 2015 @ 8:11 PM

      I would say just a few days for best freshness.

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