I’ve Been Making Martha Stewart’s Cookie Recipe For 3 Decades—It’s Still My Favorite (2024)

Has anyone ever asked you what your favorite movie, band, or author is and you come up short for a definitive answer? That’s not a problem when someone inquires what my favorite cookie recipe is. Not that anyone has ever asked, but when they do, I’m prepared!

The best cookie recipe in all of time and space is the chewy chocolate-gingerbread cookies that appeared in the December/January 1997 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. And I had the privilege of baking many batches of that very recipe in the actual MSL test kitchen way back in 1998.

The Upshot of a Fumbling Internship

A jillion years ago, I did an internship at Martha Stewart Living. It was a hellacious experience at the time, but I learned a lot and came away with some great stories. If you work for someone famous and don’t get a few good stories out of it, what’s the point?

When Christmas approached, the higher-ups of the test kitchen staff prepared to send their annual tins of cookies to all of their important vendors and contacts. This being a Martha Stewart enterprise, of course those tins were packed with a perfectly curated selection of Martha Stewart cookie recipes baked by the test kitchen staff.

Someone handed me the Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookie recipe, a recipe that all of the food editors spoke of in hushed, reverent tones.

I was told to make 14 dozen. That’s 7x the recipe. A single batch requires seven ounces of chocolate and one tablespoon of finely grated ginger, so in total I hand-chunked a little over three pounds of chocolate and grated about half a cup of fresh ginger. Have you ever grated that much ginger on a microplane? Let me tell you, it takes foreverrrr.

In the process, I memorized the recipe. And when I got to taste one of the cookies, I was a goner.It was the best cookie I've ever had.

I’ve Been Making Martha Stewart’s Cookie Recipe For 3 Decades—It’s Still My Favorite (1)

A Complex Cookie for Discerning Gingerbread Connoisseurs

Why do I love these cookies so much? They bundle everything that matters in a complex, chewy package of a few bites of sheer ecstacy. Every element is perfectly balanced. The rich chocolate chunks make a fitting foil for the fiery ginger. Classic gingerbread spices–cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg–come through without whacking you over the head.

Best of all, chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies are, by weight, about 50 percent chocolate chunks. The cookie dough merely binds them together. I’ve never had a cookie so chocolatey. A bite into one rivals a chocolate truffle for intensity.

Not for Everyone, But Very Much for Some

Of course I baked these for my family once I went on Christmas break from my internship. My mom in particular loved them. We hid them from my dad and my brother. She made a batch of her own and shared them only with her friends who’d get them.

These are not cookies for those who simply want straightforward, passing gratification. They are an experience. They also have, like, $12 worth of chocolate. Bake an easy batch of super-solid cookies like peanut butter blossoms as decoys to distract anyone not worthy of the chewy chocolate-gingerbread experience. Seriously, it works. Everyone’s happy.

I’ve Been Making Martha Stewart’s Cookie Recipe For 3 Decades—It’s Still My Favorite (2)

The Keys to Success With These Cookies

The recipe online has a shockingly low 3.5-star review, but I realized that’s possibly because the reviewers got a few critical things wrong. Here’s how to do right by chewy chocolate-gingerbread cookies.

  • Use only the best chocolate. Because the chocolate chunks make up half the cookies, the quality of the chocolate itself matters a lot. I tend to use chunks cut from a Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Baking Bar.
  • You must cut the chocolate chunks by hand. If you even think of using chocolate chips, just quit now and go to another recipe. It’s a bother, I know, but the random sizes of hand-cut chocolate chunks are a lot of what makes the cookies so delightful to eat. Every bite is a new experience because you might get a few smaller pieces or one giant chunk.
  • Don’t overbake them. The cookies will seem a bit wet in their centers at the 10 to 12-minute mark, but don’t be tempted to continue baking them. Pull them from the oven at this point and you’ll be rewarded with fudgy, chocolatey middles. Baking them even a minute or two longer will render the cookies totally unexceptional.

How I Make Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies Now

I have one tweak to the recipe. I use five ounces of bittersweet chocolate chunks and two ounces of unsweetened chocolate chunks. It’s a next-level chocolate experience for the extra-bitter set. If you go this route, use high-quality unsweetened chocolate (Scharffen Berger, Guittard, or Vahlrona are all good choices) and not those paper-wrapped squares of baking chocolate.

My best friend’s mom hides her cookies in the freezer and doles out one a day, warming it gently in the microwave. I prefer mine at room temperature. However you choose to eat yours, it should be a private ritual.

They’re one of those small indulgences that you sneak away for, like a Calgon bath. And when you meet someone who likewise covets these cookies, you know you’re dealing with a kindred spirit.

I’ve Been Making Martha Stewart’s Cookie Recipe For 3 Decades—It’s Still My Favorite (2024)


What kind of cookies keep the longest? ›

Dry cookies, like shortbread cookies, gingersnaps, and Danish butter cookies, will stay fresher for longer because they have very little moisture.

What is the oldest cookie ever made? ›

Pizzelles are the oldest known cookie and originated in the mid-section of Italy. They were made many years ago for the “Festival of the Snakes” also known as the “Feast Day of San Domenico”.

What are America's most loved cookies? ›

It's no surprise that chocolate chip cookies consistently rank as one of the most beloved treats in the United States.

How do bakeries keep cookies fresh? ›

To extend the shelf life of products, many bakers use specially formulated enzymes for preservation. These naturally occurring protein compounds can keep baked goods soft while preventing crumbling and staling.

What baked goods stay fresh the longest? ›

How to Store Baked Goods
Baked GoodRoom TemperatureRefrigerator
Cinnamon rolls (Note: Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting should be refrigerated.)1-3 daysn/a
Cookies2-3 weeks2 months
Cream Piesn/a3-4 days
Fruit Pies1-2 days5-7 days
8 more rows
Oct 26, 2023

What is the most successful cookie? ›

Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the world. It is now sold in over 100 countries. Oreo was first produced in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Na-Bis-Co.

How do you make cookies last a year? ›

For extra protection or to keep cookies fresh for up to a year, individually wrap each frozen cookie in plastic wrap and then stack them in a container, Alternatively, store several cookies in a freezer storage bag and then in a container.

How long do cookies last in a Ziploc bag? ›

Freshly baked cookies can generally be stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to one week at room temperature. However, the specific shelf life may vary depending on the type of cookie and the ingredients used in the recipe.

What cookie was not invented until 1938? ›

It wasn't until very recently, around 1938, that chocolate chip cookies were first invented. Unlike a lot of other things, the chocolate chip cookie was not invented by accident. During the 1930s, a chef named Ruth Graves Wakefield decided to give something different to her customers.

What cookie was invented in 1938? ›

Chocolate chip cookies are claimed to have originated in the United States in 1938, when Ruth Graves Wakefield chopped up a Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate bar and added the chopped chocolate to a cookie recipe; however, historical recipes for grated or chopped chocolate cookies exist prior to 1938 by various other authors ...

What country invented cookies? ›

Cookies appear to have their origins in 7th century AD Persia, shortly after the use of sugar became relatively common in the region. They spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. By the 14th century, they were common in all levels of society throughout Europe, from royal cuisine to street vendors.

What is the number 1 cookie in America? ›

Nearly 93% of all American households serve and enjoy cookies as treats or after meals. However, it's the chocolate chip cookie that's the most popular in the U.S. and around the world. How much do youknow about chocolate chip cookies?

What is the #1 cookie in the world? ›

What is the best-selling cookie in the world? Oreo cookies. Since the brand's inception in 1912, more than 450 billion Oreo cookies have been sold around the world, and are now available in more than 100 countries.

What is America's least favorite cookie? ›

On the naughty list of cookies, Americans gave the lowest win records to anise cookies, which only won 29% of its matchups. Other low performers included chai sugar cookies (30%), pfeffernusse (31%), spritz cookies (32%), and meringue cookies (34%).

How do you make cookies last for months? ›

To keep soft cookies moist, you can add a slice of bread to the container. The bread will absorb the dry air instead of the cookies and help prevent them from going stale. Done properly, soft cookies will last for three days in the refrigerator and up to three months in the freezer.

What cookies can last a week? ›

At room temperature, chocolate chip cookies can last up to 3 weeks, while butter cookies can last up to a week.

How long can you keep homemade cookies out? ›

Curious how long cookies last at room temperature? Most homemade cookies will maintain their taste and texture for up to 3 days. If you leave them out for too long, the cookies begin to harden or dry out. To prevent cookies from becoming stale, cover them with plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated:

Views: 6417

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.