Ginger Cookies with Apricots and Chocolate

December 20, 2013
Ginger Cookies with Apricots + Chocolate - A grown-up version of a classic. Incredibly moist, dried apricots lend sweetness and chew, balanced by dark chocolate, and spicy ginger

For the past twenty years at Christmas time, my neighbor has hosted a cookie exchange

Ginger Cookies 5-600x

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It's beautiful in every way

A hand-written invitation dropped in our mailboxes, less and less words penned to the page each year; no explanation needed, after such a long time.

“Cookie Exchange .. Hope to see you there!”

If you asked me what I'd ever brought or come home with, I wouldn't be able to tell you.  It's never about the cookies; the sweet somethings serving as an excuse to purpose a connection with each other, because at the end of the day, isn't that what life is really about?

Ginger Cookies with Apricots + Chocolate - A grown-up version of a classic. Incredibly moist, dried apricots lend sweetness and chew, balanced by dark chocolate, and spicy ginger

Looking back to my first exchange; I was young, with two little ones, working on my math degree, and just getting going in our first house

500 lifetimes ago, it seems

From year to year, the majority of the women who come are the same, made more beautiful, in my opinion, with a few extra wrinkles and grey hairs.  Many of us have moved away and come back, always picking up right where we left off

Ginger Cookies 7-600x

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This Christmas, a SOLD sign hangs in the yard I once called mine and memories are being made in a different neighborhood.  In my spirit lives a strange space of miss, along that of adventure and new beginnings.

So this year, the exchange wasn't my familiar, but one that was new

A couple of different cookies graced our kitchen counters, one being ginger cookies, adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day.

Ginger Cookies with Apricots + Chocolate - A grown-up version of a classic. Incredibly moist, dried apricots lend sweetness and chew, balanced by dark chocolate, and spicy ginger

More grown-up than the usual cookie, they're incredibly moist; taking much of their sweetness and chewiness from the dried apricots, while at the same time balanced with shavings of dark chocolate, along with generous amounts of spicy ginger

Finished with a coating of large crystal raw sugar, they pack a ton of flavor into a few small bites.  They were wonderful on this chilly Iowa evening.

A little piece of heaven, whether you're sharing with new friends, or those who've known you through your many lifetimes, and still love you anyway



ps:  For those who follow The Veggies, this recipe was originally posted in December of 2013.  Since then, I've made them more times than I can count and thought a few updated pictures were in order.  They're fantastic!

pps:  The secret to a really good cookie?  Let the dough rest 72 hours before baking your cookies

— — —

~ Adapted from Supernatural Everyday | Heidi Swanson

Ginger Cookies with Apricots and Chocolate


  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry (or spelt) flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ Tbsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small(ish) cubes
  • ¼ cup molasses (choose one that's rich, densely flavored, and most important it should taste good to you)
  • ½ cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 6-7 oz chocolate, chopped into small shavings (I really like bittersweet in these)
  • cup natural sugar, for rolling the cookie dough in


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt.
  • Heat the butter in a saucepan until it is just barely melted. Stir in the molasses, sugar, and fresh ginger (At this point, the mix should be warm, but not hot)
  • Whisk in the egg. (If it's hot to the touch, let it cool a bit before whisking in the egg)
  • Pour this mixture over the flour blend and stir to combine.
  • Add the chopped apricots and chocolate shavings; stir until just combined.
  • Chill for ~30 minutes (long enough to let the dough firm up slightly)

  • Baking
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add the sugar to a bowl
  • Scoop out the dough (I make mine with 1-2 Tbsp worth of dough). Roll each piece into a ball and then roll the dough in the bowl of large-grain sugar to coat the outside.
  • Place the cookies a few inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until cookies puff up, darken a bit, are fragrant, and crack. (If you’re not sure, peek at the bottom of one; it should be deeply golden)
Serves: 24
Nutrition + Show
Calories 188
Total Fat 5.4g
Saturated Fat 2g
Carbohydrates 33.8g
Fiber 3.1g
Sugars 19.3g
Protein 3.6g
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  • Reply Macy December 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    5 stars
    Ginger, apricot, and chocolate. What a great combo! You’ll laugh, but I have an aversion to crystalized things on my food (even salt and sugar). I even scrape the salt off of warm pretzels. That being said, in the U.K. we have something called stem ginger, which is chunks of ginger preserved in syrup. It’s wonderful stuff, without the crunchy crystals. It’s also far less prone to sticking to your knife if you chop it. I’m thinking I’ll have to experiment

  • Reply heydave November 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    5 stars
    Year after year, simply awesome!

  • Reply Nadia December 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I love sharing in cookie exchanges! These look like amazing ones I will have to my list! Ginger cookies are my absolute favorite with tea!

  • Reply Hayley January 24, 2015 at 10:53 am

    This is such a lovely idea! I’d love to have great neighbours like that and have a cute little tradition.

  • Reply Alex December 12, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Without question, I’m going to be making these this weekend. Many of my favorite things all in one recipe – and they’ll make a wonderful addition to my holiday cookie packages. So much to bake, so little time!

  • Reply Sabrina March 24, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I’ve always admired the bailey to prepare cookies. They are everything but easy to do, mainly if in regular shapes. Apricot and chocolate is a combination I really appreciate, so I wish I can eat or prepare something like your cookies soon

  • Reply Rose March 24, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I made these last night and brought them to work this morning for a potluck at the office. And now I have to swat my co-workers’ greedy hands away! Thanks so much for sharing. They came out great.

  • Reply Angela June 12, 2016 at 6:51 am

    For all of the happy cookie bakers out there, whatever you do, don’t skip the resting period. The last time I made these they were the best cookies of my life. I meant to make these to give to a friend this afternoon but completely forgot to start them the day before. In a last-minute panic, I thought “oh, they’ll be fine.” So I tried putting the dough balls in the freezer for a couple minutes before popping them in the oven. They baked out normally, didn’t spread very much. The flavor (though still DELICIOUS), isn’t quite what it is if the dough rests (at least) overnight before-hand.

  • Reply Bethany January 9, 2017 at 4:55 am

    I’m a huge fan of your site, and so far you haven’t steered me wrong. I’ve made these cookies at least ten times by now, and every time they turn out perfectly! My little brother always tells me I’m the “best sister in the world” when he smells these baking in the oven. Keep up the good work, these are a hit with my family and friends!

  • Reply Sayant September 7, 2017 at 9:52 am

    5 stars
    I made these last night and am currently brushing yet more crumbs off my skirt after an illicit sample. (Or two, or three) They’re supposed to be dessert for a dinner party tonight and we’re all taking bets on how many make it Absolutely delicious, so thank you.

  • Reply Mira October 9, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    5 stars
    I made these last week for my husband to take to work for a potluck. Three dozen went out, none came home. They didn’t even make it to the potluck and were gone by 10 am!

  • Reply Kweni October 24, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    5 stars
    I absolutely adore ginger, and also love baking with spelt flour. These look so good. Whenever I make cookies lately, I make them tiny. It’s a great way to not go overboard on the sweets!

  • Reply Julie December 14, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been peeking into your kitchen for so long, I figured it was only polite to say Hi. I’ve just baked these incredible cookies, and have hidden them from my husband and child. Next on my list is your olive oil with rosemary cake. How do I hide that, I wonder?

  • Reply Emma White January 24, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    oh my these sound and look amazing and rather than my boring chocolate chip cookies I am going to give this a try for sure

  • Reply Laura Dove January 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Ooh these look soooo good!! We got a new neighbour yesterday move in and I’d love to bake these to take to her! Im not sure if my baking skills are up to it but if they went well, we might get off to a good start…until she hears our kids screeching in the back garden!

  • Reply Melanie williams January 25, 2018 at 12:44 am

    I love ginger cookies and the smell – yummy! this is ideal, as I am looking to bake some cookies to gift in a jar, so perfect timing x

  • Reply Patrick January 25, 2018 at 2:54 am

    5 stars
    Nice twist on a old classic cookie,I have never had a ginger cookie with another ingredient mixed in.
    And since Melanie is going to bake some of these up,maybe she’ll send the cheetah and myself some!!
    I pinned this as well….

  • Reply Rhian January 25, 2018 at 5:21 am

    I love the idea of a cookie exchange and meeting up with people every year to swap them x

  • Reply Yolanda January 25, 2018 at 8:59 am

    What a great combination! Never thought that both apricot and chocolate would work when it comes to flavours.

  • Reply Becca Talbot January 25, 2018 at 9:26 am

    5 stars
    These cookies sound like the food version of a big warm, enveloping hug. Apricot and chocolate isn’t something I’ve ever tried before – so I’m tempted to try this recipe next time I do some baking x

  • Reply Kirsty January 25, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I really love the sound of the warmth from the ginger with the addition of the dark chocolate to give a touch of luxury. They sound like the perfect accompliment to a hot chocolate and a night snuggled under a blanket.

  • Reply Vasundhra January 25, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    5 stars
    It would be interesting to host a cookie exchange with friends. I love everything with ginger and prefer to add it to my recipes in winters. These cookies look delicious!

  • Reply Rachel Evans January 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    5 stars
    Ooooh yummy. I love apricots but I never think to add them to cookies – my first thought for dried fruit is always raisins.

  • Reply Joanna January 26, 2018 at 4:09 am

    5 stars
    I am familiar with that non-familiar feeling of not belonging anymore, because the house you’ve spent so many beautiful memories in, your home, is not yours anymore. I see that the original post has been from 2013 and I hope that since then the tradition of exchanging cookies has become as it used to be again.

  • Reply Jemma January 26, 2018 at 5:54 am

    5 stars
    What a wonderful way to connect with your neighbours, such a lovely tradition and what a stunning cookie recipe!

  • Reply Fritha January 26, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Would never have thought to put apricot in with ginger, I can’t image how that would taste in a cookie together!

  • Reply Calleigh January 26, 2018 at 7:25 am

    I never tried this combo (ginger + apricot). But this sounds yum and delectable to me. I love your pictures, makes me grab one and hide in the closet so nobody would notice I’m feeding my sweet tooth. hahaha

  • Reply Dannii January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am

    You can’t beat a classic ginger and chocolate combo in a cookie, but I love the idea of adding apricots too. These sound so warming.

  • Reply Dalene January 26, 2018 at 9:59 am

    5 stars
    I love cookies too much, for breakfast or for fast snacks. And since I’m a die-hard of ginger biscuits, I presume I’d also love ginger cookies..yummy!Especially ones like these ones with ginger and chocolate!I’m drooling over your pictures!

  • Reply Chrissy Faery January 26, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE the idea of a cookie exchange! What a wonderful tradition, I wish I had neighbours like that! These ginger cookies look amazing too – I’m suddenly feeling very hungry! 😀 xx

  • Reply Razena January 26, 2018 at 11:43 am

    5 stars
    There are few things I love more with a cup of tea than a delicious ginger cookie. I have never tried it with apricots and chocolate but the combination sounds delicious. I recently used plain ginger cookies for a cheesecake base, do you think this will be suitable too?

  • Reply Lauretta January 26, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I didn’t know that letting the dough rest 72 hours before baking will make a difference! Thanks for sharing this secret! I just more excited to bake for my tweens.

  • Reply Sonjoo January 27, 2018 at 10:15 am

    5 stars
    Such a great combination of ingredients to put together. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply Laura January 27, 2018 at 11:42 am

    A cookie exchange? That sounds like such a sweet idea! Especially at this time of the year. I bet the apricot and chocolate ones were some of the best though! xxx

  • Reply Helen January 28, 2018 at 5:20 am

    What a great tip to let the dough rest for 72 hours before baking – Very hard to resist temptation in that time though! I love the sound of a cookie swap between neighbours!

  • Reply Lubka Henry January 28, 2018 at 10:32 am

    I’m not a huge fan of ginger, but these cookies look just so tempting.

  • Reply Laura H January 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    A cookie exchange is just the sweetest idea!! What a great way to get to know the community and also find so many new recipes 😀 Wouldn’t have thought of ginger and apricot going together but I’ll have to give it a try!

  • Reply Surekha January 29, 2018 at 8:27 am

    5 stars
    How wonderful it is to meet the same people every year. I totally agree that’s is living mean to me as well. Connections and sharing. I love this cookie recipe since it has sea salt in it. pinning it for future

  • Reply Tanya January 29, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I love the sound of these, I bet they were lovely. I’ve never thought of doing anything like this with my neighbours and don’t really know a lot of them so this sounds like a great idea to bring everyone together

  • Reply Brian February 1, 2018 at 9:11 am

    5 stars
    Aison. have you tried gingerbread macarons? I’ve had some good gingerbread chocolate truffles, but they’re not easy to find.

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