Spiced Chocolate Gingerbread Dragon Eggs

This grown-up gingerbread has tremendous depth of flavor, with molasses, jaggery, plenty of ground ginger and a bit of cayenne taking it to the next level. It’s based on a recipe by Matt Lewis, but with a few tweaks heading it in a more Sri Lankan direction. The result is a sturdy, chewy cookie with a little heat — perfect for shaping into dragon eggs. A pattered cookie cutter makes that easy, and a little gilding gives these cookies a festive holiday glow.

NOTE: They’d also work well as sandwich cookies with creme, or ice cream sandwich cookies.

3 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. ground ginger
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
1 T baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 – 1/2 t. cayenne (to your taste)
1 c. unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 c. jaggery (or dark brown sugar)
1 large egg
1/2 c. molasses
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate

a little vodka and gold luster dust for decoration, optional

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave at half power; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour with cocoa powder and spices; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with the jaggery / brown sugar on high until fluffy, about two minutes. Add egg, molasses, and melted chocolate, stirring to combine.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, beating on low until it forms a dough.

5. Divide the dough into two firm balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled.

6. Preheat oven to 350F, and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick, and cut out cookies. If the dough is a little cracked, you don’t need to get it completely smooth — the cracks will add to the dragon egg-like appearance. Chill again for 15 minutes before baking, to reduce the chance of spreading.

NOTE: I found that with this particular cutter, if I pressed down far enough to cut the cookie out completely, the dough tended to stick and be hard to remove from the cutter. It was easier to press it most of the way, then remove and use a sharp knife as needed to free the egg from the dough. A little fiddly, but worth it!

7. Bake cookies for about 7 minutes; let cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

8. Once cooled, add a little luster dust to a bit of vodka (or extract, but extract can add more flavor / scent than you want), and use a food-dedicated little paintbrush to gild the eggs, giving them a proper dragon-ish glow.


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