Loaded Gingerbread Cookies

by Jillian
Soft and chewy sugar-coated gingerbread cookies brimming with dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and crunchy toasted pecans!

Soft and chewy sugar-coated gingerbread cookies brimming with dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and crunchy toasted pecans!

When it comes to Christmas goodies, you can’t get more traditional than the good ol’ gingerbread cookie. Whether in the shape of a cute little man or constructed into a delicious-looking house, this cookie is kind of a must during this time of year.

Although I’m more of a sugar cookie type of gal, I do enjoy the occasional gingerbread cookie from time to time. However, I’m incredibly picky. I don’t go for the dry, crunchy, rock-hard gingerbread cookies–no way, José! I also can’t stand the super pungent, overwhelmingly molasses-flavored gingerbread cookies. Call me a spoiled Goldilocks, but my gingerbread cookies have to be juuuuuust right.

So to all you other picky gingerbread cookie eaters out there, I have JUST the recipe for you!

As the title suggests, these cookies are LOADED. Because instead of just baking up your standard super duper boring, ho-hum gingerbread cookie, I decided to load these cookies up with some extra goodies–sweet white chocolate chips, rich dark chocolate chips, and toasty crunchy pecans! 

Along with an assortment of delicious yummies baked in, these cookies are soft, pillowy, and rolled in sugar for that extra kick of sweetness. These Loaded Gingerbread Cookies are sure to become a new favorite, whether packed up in gift boxes for neighbors, served up at an annual cookie exchange, or simply enjoyed with a glass of milk in front of the fireplace. 

As I mentioned earlier, super strong molasses flavor is a big turn-off for me. So for these cookies, I kept that flavor to a minimum by substituting some of the molasses with maple syrup. Maple syrup has a similar texture and flavor to molasses, but it’s much sweeter and less bitter. Just 4 tablespoons of molasses is added to the dough. It’s enough to achieve the right amount of gingerbready flavor without being super overpowering. 

Along with molasses and maple syrup, granulated sugar and brown sugar are added to sweeten these cookies. I used more granulated sugar than brown sugar since brown sugar contains molasses, and my goal was to minimize that flavor. I didn’t want to leave the brown sugar out entirely since it adds a nice chewiness to the cookies.

To pack these cookie bars with even more flavor, a delicious mix of fall spices are incorporated into the batter–cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and of course, ginger! The rest of the ingredients in this recipe are pretty standard–flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, eggs, butter, and cornstarch. The cornstarch is a semi-secret ingredient which ensures that the cookies bake up extra soft and chewy.

As with most of my cookie recipes, I like to chill the dough thoroughly before baking it in the oven. Not only will chilling the dough prevent the cookies from spreading too quickly as they bake, but it gives the dry ingredients and wet ingredients time to mingle. “Mingle” meaning that the dry ingredients absorb moisture from the wet ingredients. While this hydration takes place, the flour breaks down into sugar, creating a sweeter, more concentrated flavor.

Once baked up and cooled, these cookies are ready to devour! However, if you’re looking for that extra “picture perfect” look, I suggest pressing a few extra chocolate chips and pecans into the tops of the cookies right after they come out of the oven. It’s also a great excuse to load these cookies up with even MORE sweetness. Not that that was at all my intention…

Soft and chewy sugar-coated gingerbread cookies brimming with dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and crunchy toasted pecans!

Loaded Gingerbread Cookies

Soft and chewy sugar-coated gingerbread cookies brimming with dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and crunchy toasted pecans!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2 Dozen

Ingredients
  

Dough:

  • 2 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup dark or light brown sugar packed
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup toasted pecans chopped
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

For Rolling:

  • cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk, followed by the molasses, maple syrup, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in the pecans and both chocolate chips. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  • Scoop the dough out, roll into a ball, then roll in sugar. They should be about the size of a golf ball. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, and flatten cookie slightly.
  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies look puffed and edges are set. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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