Chocolate Gingerbread Men
4 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
- Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg, and melted chocolate and continue beating on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Transfer the dough to a flat surface and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least hour, or up to 5 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide the chilled dough into four equal quarters, leaving three quarters in the refrigerator. Lightly flour a flat work surface and roll out one piece of dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Using a small (2 to 2 1/2 –inch) gingerbread man or woman cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Gather all the dough scraps into a ball and place in the refrigerator.
- Take out another quarter of the dough, and continue rolling out the dough and cutting cookies until all the dough has been used.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly raised.
- Using a spatula, remove the cookies from the cookie sheets, transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Use frosting to decorate as desired. These also make fun sandwich cookies. For a nice contrast, use the White Chocolate Frosting recipe to create a filling between two gingerbread men.