Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies

Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies
Photo: Joy Howard
Active Time:
35 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
2 dozen

The shape of these cookies isn't the only thing that makes them a deliciously unconventional. The addition of dark cocoa powder gives them a rich chocolatey flavor that pairs perfectly with the warm spices of traditional gingerbread—cinnamon, clove, and of course, ginger. In addition, the cookies are embellished with a simple glaze that's a less fussy alternative to royal icing and can be made with just a few ingredients. For the best results, cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper when you roll it out. It's not essential, but it will ensure the cookies have a nice smooth surface for decorating.



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2/3 cup dark cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup molasses


  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar

  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment and set on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Mix in the molasses. Reduce the mixer's speed to low and blend in the flour mixture one-third at a time.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Roll it into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.

  3. Heat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Use tree-shaped cookie cutters to shape the dough and arrange the cookies on the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Gather and reroll the dough as needed.

  4. Bake the cookies until set and turning them once halfway through, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat if needed, with the remaining dough.

  5. Place the confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment and set on low speed. Blend until smooth. If the icing is too thick, more milk can be added 1 teaspoon at a time. Tint with food coloring if using, as desired, and place in a piping bag fit with a writing tip.

  6. Decorate the cookies with icing and let it set before serving.

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