Gingerbread Kiss Cookies are chewy molasses cookies made with holiday spices and creamy candy kiss center. The best new Christmas Cookie!
Sabrina’s Gingerbread Kiss Cookies Recipe
Gingerbread Kiss Cookies are sure to be a new favorite Christmas Cookie! These festive holiday cookies are perfect for cookie exchanges or dessert platters. These rich and chewy cookies are an easy, beautiful treat to add to your holiday gift baskets too!
You’ll love how easy these cookies come together with some basic pantry ingredients, a bottle of molasses, and a bag of candy kisses. The dough takes about 10 minutes but keep in mind this is a chilled dough recipe so it’s great for making the night before so you know it’s plenty cold. After the dough is chilled, you roll the cookies in some sugar for edible glitter then bake them up. The baked cookies get a delicious candy kiss pressed in the center right out of the oven and voila! Fun, festive, and fantastic Christmas cookies!
- Molasses: Even though it sounds like a specialty ingredient, molasses is an affordable way to sweeten desserts and give them flavor. Molasses is a thick syrup that has a sweet, yet slightly smoky flavor to give Gingerbread Kiss Cookies that signature gingerbread taste and color. It also makes these cookies extra chewy. You can use a light or dark molasses, but don’t use blackstrap molasses because it is too bitter for baking.
- Kiss Candy: To give these cookies extra holiday flavor, we used candy cane flavor kisses which are white chocolate with red stripes. They have a peppermint flavor with crunchy candy cane pieces inside! You could use any of your favorite kiss candy flavors though. Caramel kisses and dark chocolate kisses would also taste amazing!
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is cane sugar that hasn’t had the molasses completely removed so it’s the perfect choice for these molasses cookies! It enhances the natural molasses flavor while also adding another level of sweetness.
- Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are a classic blend of gingerbread spices that really give the cookies their signature holiday flavor.
- Sugar: You will also need regular sugar to roll the cookie dough in. It gives the cookies a glittery sparkle that makes your Gingerbread Kiss Cookies extra festive.
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- Stand Mixer: A stand mixer is handy for making cookies because you can let it keep mixing while you add ingredients. However, if you don’t have one, these cookies can be made by hand or with hand-held beaters. If making by hand, make sure your butter is super soft and use a whisk to cream the butter and sugar to create air.
- Mixing Bowls: It is good to have a variety of mixing bowls in different sizes. You want large bowls for making dough of course, but smaller bowls are handy for prepping ingredients and decorating like rolling dough in sugar. Medium size bowls are handy for sifting dry ingredients.
Time needed: 2 hours and 25 minutes.
These cookies come together and bake super quick, but you do need to chill the dough before baking them. Chilling them keeps the cookies thick enough to wrap around the sweet candy kiss.
- Combine Wet Ingredients
Cream the butter and brown sugar in your stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and molasses, mixing until smooth.
- Add Dry Ingredients
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and ground nutmeg in a separate bowl. Set the mixer on the lowest speed and add the flour mixture until combined.
- Chill the Dough
Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. Do not try to bake the cookies right away or they will spread thin.
- Preheat and Prep for Baking
Preheat your oven and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, add the sugar. Roll the dough into balls, then roll the ball in the sugar and place on baking sheet.
- Bake and Add the Kisses
2Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just setting. Pull the cookies out the oven and immediately gently press a candy kiss in the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool and serve.
Cooking Tips & Tricks
Making your Cookies Fluffy, not Flat
- Refrigerate the Gingerbread Cookie dough before shaping and baking. Chilling the dough brings everything to the same temperature so the butter doesn’t melt too fast and cause flat cookies. If your cookies spread when baking, it’s usually because dough is not chilled long enough.
- Work quickly while shaping your Gingerbread Kiss Cookies, handling them as little as possible so the dough doesn’t warm back up. If your cookie dough looks shiny and glossy, it got too warm. Transfer dough balls to a cutting board (not the baking pan) and pop back into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Transfer chilled dough back to baking sheet and bake.
Sides for Your Gingerbread Kiss Cookies
Drinks: Leave these festive tasty cookies out for Santa with a cup of Hot Cocoa for an extra special Christmas Eve snack! They also go great dunked in a glass of ice cold milk.
Dessert Platter: Make a fun, Gingerbread themed dessert platter for your holiday party! Make these cookies along with Gingerbread Men, Gingerbread Cookie Butter, Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip and Gingerbread Fudge. Decorate the platter with crystallized ginger pieces, gumdrops, and sprinkles!
How to Store Gingerbread Kiss Cookies
Serve: These Gingerbread Kiss Cookies can be kept at room temperature for about 1 week, maybe a bit longer. Keep them in a cool, dry place in a sealed container so they stay soft and chewy. You can refrigerate Gingerbread Kiss Cookies for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature to soften them before serving.
Freeze: Once cooled, freeze Gingerbread Kiss Cookies on a baking sheet for one hour. Transfer frozen cookies to a sealed container or storage bag, and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving at room temperature
You can absolutely freeze this cookie dough! Roll the cookie dough into balls as usual. You can either add the sugar and bake them from frozen or freeze them without sugar. If you freeze them before rolling in sugar, let them thaw overnight then roll in sugar and bake as usual. The dough lasts for about 4 months in the freezer.
Gingerbread Kiss Cookies will stay fresh for a week, or even a bit longer, at room temperature if you keep them in a cool dry place! The molasses and brown sugar in the cookie dough keeps them softer longer than other cookie recipes.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 30 striped chocolate kisses
- Add butter and brown sugar to your stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add in the egg and molasses until smooth.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and ground nutmeg then add to the stand mixer on the lowest speed setting.
- Cover and refrigerate batter for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add sugar to a small bowl and unwrap the chocolate kisses and place onto a plate
- Roll into 1-inch balls and roll in bowl of sugar.
- Place onto baking sheet 1 inch apart and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Right when the cookies come out of the oven press the kisses into the center of each cookie and press down gently.
- Let cookie sit for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet.
Gingerbread Kiss Cookies Variations
Candy Kisses: You can use any Candy Kisses flavor for Gingerbread Kiss Cookies like milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Try caramel filled kisses for a sweet surprise that tastes delicious with gingerbread!
Candy: Use other small chocolate candies in the center of your Gingerbread Kiss Cookies like mini peanut butter cups, mini Cadbury eggs, mini chocolate bars, or Dove chocolate squares.
Ginger: Give your Gingerbread Kiss Cookies an extra gingery punch by adding fresh grated ginger or mixing in chopped crystalized ginger.
Brown Sugar: If you don’t have molasses, you can substitute ¼ cup dark brown sugar in addition to the original 6 tablespoons brown sugar. To keep the chewiness of the cookie without molasses, use ¼ cup dark brown sugar and 6 tablespoons maple syrup.