My Favorite Christmas Cookies


I've been making these cookies every Christmas since I was about 12, and came across them in an old Martha Stewart holiday cookbook. They're a favorite in my family, with perfect Christmas-y flavors. These keep well, but are especially delicious the day they're baked, when the sugar tops are nice and crunchy. Adapted from the original Martha Stewart recipe here.


  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (112 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (106 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 3/4 teaspoon of the ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cocoa powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (you really need the power of a stand mixer for this dough), beat butter well. Add brown sugar, and beat until lightened in color, about 3-4 minutes. Add molasses and mix well.

Place baking soda a small bowl, and pour 1 1/2 teaspoons of boiling water over to dissolve. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter and mix until just combined. Mix in baking soda, followed by the rest of the flour mixture. Again, mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of ginger together in a small bowl. Roll cookie dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll in sugar mixture to cover. Place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and chill for 20 minutes. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until the surfaces are just starting to crack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.