Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cookies

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I love baking at this time of the year. With the scent of cakes and bakes heady with cinnamon and ginger wafting from the kitchen, you can really start to feel Christmas in the air. And what better way to kick off the festive season than with a batch of homemade gingerbread cookies?

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Despite being a frequent consumer of gingerbread cookies in my lifetime, I must confess that I have never actually made them at home. But as my 2-year old has started to show an increasing interest in baking, most likely because he has spent a good part of his lifetime so far amusing himself in the kitchen alongside me, I thought it was time to let him play with some dough and cookie cutters, and making gingerbread men seemed like a fitting activity at this time of the year.

The recipe below comes from the current December/January 2015 issue of Donna Hay Magazine. It’s quick and easy, tastes delicious, and is versatile in that you can use it to make traditional gingerbread men or other Christmas-shaped cookies, or this very moreish chocolate chip version.

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If you plan to make plain gingerbread cookies, you will need to make sure that the dough is cold at all times, not least so it is easier to handle when cutting out the shapes, but also so it doesn’t expand in the oven, ensuring that the end result will be more or less the same size as when it went in the oven. This is important if you plan to decorate the cookies later.

Otherwise, for this chocolate chip version, simply work with the dough at room temperature, and space the cookies about 5 cm apart on the baking sheet to allow them to expand during baking.

As always, when it comes to cooking with ready-ground spices, make sure your ground cinnamon and mixed spice are fresh so you can get a full kick out of the spices in these cookies.

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I first tried this recipe because because I wanted to have some fun with my little one in the kitchen; he loves cutting shapes from Playdoh and making cookies seemed like the next logical step. But I was also secretly hoping that these gingerbread cookies would be too spicy for him, that he would enjoy cutting out shapes from the dough (his favourite was a pig – not very Christmassy, I know!), but that the spicy ground ginger would put him off eating too many of these sugary delights. Fat chance. He devoured these cookies the moment they were cool enough to touch and ate far more than any reasonable mother would allow. But I felt it was important for him to show an interest in whole cookie-making process, and to deny him full enjoyment of the end-result would not have been fair. Besides, the cookies did actually taste pretty good, so I made a second batch the following day in order to try out the chocolate chip variation and now I’m hooked!

I can’t think of a more perfect cookie to have alongside a big mug of tea right now.

CHOCOLATE CHIP GINGERBREAD COOKIES
 
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Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 78, December/January 2015, page 150
Serves: 24 cookies
Method
Notes
To make plain gingerbread cookies using cut-out shapes, omit the chocolate chips from the above recipe. Divide the dough in half, and roll each piece of dough between two sheets of baking paper to about 5mm thickness. Place the rolled out dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the dough and proceed as per the recipe above.

For crunchier cookies, bake the cookies for a few extra minutes. You may have to experiment a little, depending on how big your cookies are.

The cookie dough will keep well in the fridge for at least a few days, so you can bake these cookies at the last minute and serve them warm, if you like.

The cookie dough will also keep well in the freezer, covered well in cling film, for up to 2 months.

Mixed spice is commonly a mixture of ready-ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. I frequently use this brand of mixed spice.

And if you are not familiar with golden syrup, I use a brand called Lyle’s Golden Syrup which, I think, is hard to substitute with a different ingredient.

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If you have made this dish, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird

8 Comments

  1. Sarah @ Bonjour Sucre 12 December 2014

    Yum! They look great. I have the latest Donna Hay and was planning on making these. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 12 December 2014

    These cookies look great! I love chocolate and ginger together!

    Reply
  3. Rushi 18 December 2014

    Oooooh how Christmassy…..You’ve inspired me to do a spot of Christmas baking πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy the festive season Thanh πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 25 December 2014

      Merry Christmas to you also! Hope you and the little one are well and enjoyed this special day πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Sarah 5 February 2015

    I made the chocolate gingerbread cookies, but left out the spices because my children don’t like it. So it were just chocolate chip cookies πŸ™‚ Thanks to my mother who went to London I had golden syrop in my cupboard. But I found the golden syrop was just too much in this recipe. I didn’t like it very much. But my stepdaughter and colleagues of my husband liked them very much. So I was just happy that other people liked them πŸ™‚ Ps, the brownie recipe I got from this website is a big hit with my family and friends πŸ™‚ Next up to make, Rachel khoo’s Croque Madame Muffins and chicken dumpling soup. Wish me luck πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 5 February 2015

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your feedback! I think the smokiness of the golden syrup is meant to work with the spices in this cookie to give it that gingerbread taste, so I can imagine that the cookies might taste different if you leave out the spices. I’ve been meaning to post my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe for some time now … hopefully soon!

      As for the brownies, they always seem to be a big hit with chocolate lovers πŸ™‚ Good luck with Rachel Khoo’s recipes, although they’re both very popular recipes so you probably can’t go wrong πŸ™‚

      Reply

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