Glazed Chocolate Gingerbread Stamped Cookies have to be the prettiest cookies out there. Made with a chocolate gingerbread dough and pressed with beautiful stamps then glazed to perfection with a vanilla glaze, these cookies will win your heart in a flash.
With cookie baking season in full swing, these Chocolate Gingerbread Stamped Cookies would make the perfect addition to your baking list. They join seasonal favourites like my Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate dipped Madeleines and Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies. Whichever you prefer, cookies encapsulate this season, fun to make, they are perfect for gift giving over the holidays, making them the perfect edible gift for friends, family, neighbours and your kid's teachers!
The cookie itself is soft and chewy, filled with that quintessential gingerbread flavour. The addition of chocolate doesn't overpower, it adds to the richness of the ginger and molasses flavour profile. And the sweet vanilla glaze is there to accentuate the beauty of the stamp design. These chocolate ginger cookies come together in a matter of minutes making them super straightforward to make whilst being stunning to look at!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Comforting festive flavours. Gingerbread is synonymous with the holiday season and the warming spices are like a hug to the soul!
- Can be made ahead. The cookie dough can be made, wrapped well and refrigerated a couple of days before you need to use it.
- Perfect for gift giving. Edible gifts are my favourite gifts in the holiday season. Wrapped in a cookie box, these make the most beautiful present ever.
The list is reminiscent of regular gingerbread cookies. Interestingly, Yottam does not add golden syrup, adding all the rounded, depth of flavour through the brown sugar and molasses. The cocoa powder prevents the cookies from being too sweet and the spices add a beautiful complex note to them.
- Butter - unsalted butter and at room temperature needed here. The butter needs to be soft enough that it can be creamed with the sugar.
- Brown sugar - My favourite sugar. It has that beautiful caramel flavour that pairs so well with the molasses and spices. The extra moisture in the sugar helps with the chew factor too.
- Black treacle (Molasses) - One hundred percent necessary when making ginger cookies. It has that smolky, deep rounded flavour that is irreplaceable!
- Egg yolk - Just one large egg yolk to bind the ingredients together and add richness to the cookies.
- Plain flour - Make sure to use digital scales to weigh out your flour accurately. Too much flour will make the cookies dry and crumbly.
- Baking soda - just a touch to help the cookies leaven slightly and help make them chewy!
- Spices - ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves are the all-time best spices to create a gingerbread. The balance between them depends on personal taste but always go heavier with the ginger.
- Cocoa Powder - You would think that the cocoa powder takes over, but it actually helps accentuate the gingerbread flavour. There is a hint of cocoa in the taste but is gentle and subtle. I add in double the quantity to what Yottam states, to get a slightly more chocolatey taste.
- Ground Pepper & Salt - The salt is always needed to balance the sweetness in any cookie! The pepper is an interesting addition to the spices- it's subtle so if you prefer to omit it, then do so.
Yottam uses a Rum Butter Glaze to decorate his cookies with, but I'll stick with a simple vanilla glaze to complement the ginger taste.
- Powdered icing sugar - If the sugar is particularly lumpy then pass the sugar through a seive.
- Milk- Whole milk is needed as the liquid to create the glaze. Sour cream, creme fraiche, double cream, greek yogurt are good alternatives.
- Vanilla - vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste can be used but personally I love the more intense nature of vanilla bean paste.
- Butter - half a teaspoon is all you need of melted butter.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Make the chocolate gingerbread cookie dough
1. Cream the sugar, butter and molasses together. Preheat the oven to 190C (350F). Usually, we bake cookies at 180C but the touch hotter temperature means that the cookies will set in the shape and avoid spreading and losing their stamped pattern.
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the butter as we're going to use that in the glaze later on. Now beat the butter, sugar and molasses together. Whenever asked to cream butter and sugar together, I always do this for around 4 minutes. This gives the sugar crystals time to break down into the butter and for the butter to aerate. The addition of the molasses at this point though means the butter won't create as much as normal, but that's totally fine as we want a flat style of cookie to hold the design. (Image 1 & 2)
TIP: Scrape down the sides and base of the bowl
Molasses is a very thick and sticky substance and tends to fall to the bottom of the bowl and stick to it. Make sure to scrape the base and sides of the bowl numerous times when beating it into the sugar so as to ensure the molasses gets properly incorporated into the mixture.
2. Add the yolk. The single egg yolk is added at this point and mixed in. The dough is starting to come together! Only one more step and it's done- it's such a simple recipe. (One of the many reasons I love to make these chocolate gingerbread cookies year on year!) (Image 3 & 4)
3. Sift in dry ingredients. I'm all about saving dishes, so place the sieve over the bowl and sift in all the dry ingredients. The flour, cocoa powder and all the spices added in at once. Then it's a quick mix in until the dough starts to clump together.
How to roll and stamp the cookies
4. Roll out, stamp and cut the cookies. The best part of the whole recipe! I love seeing the designs come to life!
Roll out: I dust the work surface with an equal part mix of cocoa powder and flour. Tip the cookie dough onto the work surface and knead it a couple of times with lightly dusted fingers. It will come together quickly to form a smooth dough. Then shape it into a disc. It makes it easier to roll if it's pre-shaped like this. Roll out with a rolling pin.
Stamp the dough: With whatever cookie stamps you have (make sure to check out my FAQ's more other ideas), press the cookie stamps down into the dough. Make sure to leave a little space between each round as when you press down, the dough squishes out and will affect the shape of the stamp next to it.
Cut out the rounds: Usine a cookie cutter the same width in diameter and the cookie stamp, go over each design and cut the dough out fully.
TIP: How the get the most out of your stamped cookies
- Refrigerate & flour your cookie stamp. Both these steps ensure that the dough doesn't stick into the small impressions of the stamp and ruin the design when you lift it up.
- Chill the dough if necessary. Your dough can be too soft. Yes this is a thing! You'll know it's too soft it it squishes down too quickly when rolling and becomes difficult to get an even flat surface. Also if it sticks to the rolling pin or work surface. If this is the case, form it into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes or so.
- Press the stamp down evenly. When pressing the stamp into the dough, apply firm even pressure so that the design imprints evenly over the cookie.
- Don't push the stamp down all the way through the dough. I made this mistake! If you do go all the way through then the dough will stick into the cookie stamp and be impossible to peel off neatly. You want to press about a third of the way down into the dough.
5. Refrigerate and bake. Place all your stamped out cookies onto a lined baking tray and refrigerate. You can pack them tightly onto the tray at this point. In Yottam's recipe, he bakes them straight after rolling and stamping. I tested a couple of cookies in this way, but I found they spread too much and lost their design on top by doing so. I ended up chilling the cookies for 15 minutes and then baking them. They maintained their shape far better. (Image 11)
Bake. After refrigerating then it's time to bake. You'll need to place them onto two separate baking trays bearing in mind that they do spread a little so leave space between each cookie. They only take 10 minutes and for me this is the perfect time to achieve soft gingerbread cookies. If you want slightly crisper ones then leave them in a little longer. (I tested this and they seemed to crack more around the edges. This doesn't affect the taste of course, and will be covered by the glaze, its just something to be aware of.) (Image 12)
Glaze the cookies
6. Make the icing and glaze the cookies. Melt the remaining butter then add it into a bowl along with the icing sugar, milk and vanilla and give it a good whisk until properly mixed in. (Image 13) Brush each of the cookies with the glaze to coat them and get into all the impressions. This gives them a beautiful two-tone effect, highlighting the Christmas snowflake underneath. As the glaze dries it will turn slightly more translucent. Don't worry if the glaze drips down the edges. (Image 14) It takes about 30 minutes for the glaze to set fully and then they can be piled up on a plate or in a cookie box.
TIP: Brush the glaze onto the cookies when warm
The glaze will coat all the nooks and crannies of the cookies evenly if applied when the cookies are slightly warm.
Coco powder. If you want a more traditional gingerbread stamped cookie, then omit the cocoa powder from the recipe. If you do this then I would reduce the butter in the recipe by 1 tablespoon.
Glaze. The original recipe calls for a Rum Butter Glaze. If you'd like to brush your stamped cookies in this then add 80g icing sugar, ⅛ tsp cinnamon, 15g melted butter, 1 tbsp rum and 1tsp water to a bowl and mix until smooth.
Pro tip re-cap
- Scrape down the base and sides of the bowl. This is a useful tip when mixing any batter, but especially when using molasses as it tends to sink to the bottom and coates the bowl. Scraping it ensures even mixing.
- Chill your dough if it's too soft. Different factors can make the dough a bit too soft to roll and stamp. Rectify this by chilling for 15 minutes or so. But keep an eye on it as on the other end of the scale, hard dough is impossible to roll!! And definitely chill the dough once stamped and cut out to ensure the best crisp pattern on top.
- Prepare the cookie stamps. Chilling the stamps makes for neat impressions in the dough and a light dusting of flour on them prevents them from sticking.
- Get the best design. It does depend on what type of cookie stamp you have as to how deep the designs are cut in it. But press the stamp evenly and firmly, just make sure not to press down all the way through the dough.
Frequently asked questions
Baking powder is used as a leavening agent in cookie dough making it puff up and rise in the oven. By not including it in the recipe, you are guaranteeing a flatter, more spread out cookie. This is one of the reasons why only an egg yolk is used too. The baking soda also helps with the spread of the cookies too.
I love the Nordic Ware Frozen II Starry Nights cookie stamps. They are a super quality and the aluminium stamps makes for a clean design and they chill well in the fridge. You can see below the three different designs and how they look when stamped onto the cookies and glazed. The middle design is my personal favourite!
You can use anything that will imprint a pretty design onto the dough. You can use that embossed rolling pin, bought and shoved to the back of the drawer! Look at the bottom of any of your glasses. Often cut glass crystal glasses will have a beautiful pattern on the base. If you have a crochet pattern, or lace, then lay this over the dough and roll pressing its detail into the dough.
I make these Gingerbread Stamped Cookies every single year as they are brilliant for gift giving. The glaze dries hard with no stickiness making them a dream to pile up in a stack, place in a cellophane bag, tie with a pretty ribbon, add a gift tag and gift to family and friends. Alternatively, place in a cookie box and send as a surprise gift. I for one would love to receive these stamped cookies!
How to store and freeze
To store: Place Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies Stamped Cookies into an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
To freeze: Cookies dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap well in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer-safe, airtight container and freeze. Thaw at room temperature.
Equipment you’ll need
- Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment: If easily accessible, the standmizer makes light work of making up the cookie dough. Alternatively, hand-held electric beaters will produce the same result.
- Cookie Stamps: Aluminium stamps are the best to use but there are rubber options that I have seen work well. Frozen II are the ones used here, but the Starry Night ones are so beautiful too.
- Cookie cutter: Ideally, use a cookie cutter thats the same size as the cookie stamp to get the neatest cookies.
- Baking Sheet: You'll need 2 baking trays/sheets to bake one round of cookies. Or you can use just one and keep the cut out cookies in the fridge whilst waiting for the first round to bake and for the baking sheet to cool.
More festive holiday recipes
This post was originally published in December 2019 but has been updated with new photos, new content and a revised recipe.
If you tried these Chocolate Gingerbread Stamped Cookies or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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Chocolate Gingerbread Stamped Cookies Recipe
- 115 g unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
- 100 g dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 100 g molasses (black treacle)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 235 g plain flour (all-purpose), plus extra for dusting
- 10 g cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper , freshly ground
- 90 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
- 15 ml whole milk, or more if necessary
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- Cream the sugar, butter and molasses together. Put your stamps in the fridge or freezer to chill until needed. Preheat the oven to 190°C (350°F). Line two baking trays with parchment paper.Set aside 15g (1 tbsp) butter that we're going to use for the glaze later. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream together the butter, sugar and molasses for 5 minutes until pale and thick. Make sure to scrape down the base and sides of the bowl periodically. Add in the egg yolk and beat until fully combined.
- Add the yolk. Into the mixture, add the egg yolk and beat until well combined. Again scrape down the bowl.
- Sift in dry ingredients. Sift the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper, into the stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until the dough starts to come together.
- Roll out, stamp and cut the cookies. Roll out. Lightly dust your work surface with equal parts cocoa powder and plain flour, turn out the dough and knead it until all the crumbs are incorporated and the dough is smooth. Flatten the dough into a disk and roll out to about 6mm (¼-inch) thickness. If the dough is too soft then refrigerate for 15 minutes or so. Stamp. Dust the chilled cookie cutters with flour, tapping out any excess and stamp the cookie cutters into the dough applying a firm even pressure. Don't push right through to the work surface though. Cut out. Use a cookie round (slightly bigger than the stamp) and cut out the cookie rounds. Place them onto a baking tray and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Whilst chilling, pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- Bake. Divide the cookies between the two prepared baking sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes. You don't want to overbake these cookies, so check on them at 8 minutes. The cookies will be soft when you remove them from the oven but will firm up as they cool.
- Make the vanilla bean glaze. While the cookies are baking, melt the remaining butter that we set aside earlier. In a bowl, whisk the powdered icing sugar, melted butter, milk and vanilla bean paste together until it becomes a smooth thin glaze. Add more milk if the glaze is too thick, it should have the consistency of maple syrup.
- Glaze the cookies. Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and leave them to rest for 5 minutes. Then brush on the glaze whilst still warm. The glaze will dry in about 15 to 30 minutes.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.