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Gingerbread Gems (Gingerbread KISS Cookies)

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This post has been sponsored by HERSHEY’S. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ginger and cinnamon spices make the best holiday cookies, but if you add chocolate on top, well… then you have a real GEM. A Gingerbread Gem, that is.

Soft, chewy gingerbread KISSES cookies glistening with sugar and crowned with HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Holiday KISSES are not only delicious, they’re fun to bake with the kids.

Similar to the holiday classic, Peanut Butter Blossoms, these yummy thumbprint cookies are perfect for Christmas parties, holiday cookie exchanges, or to package as sweet gifts for neighbors and friends.

A plate of Gingerbread Kiss Cookies on a wooden table

Sam’s has everything you need for holiday baking

If you haven’t started your holiday baking yet, then let me suggest you do what I did and head over to Sam’s Club for all your baking supplies. Seriously, they have EVERYTHING you need for baking all in one place.

I brought home a stash of HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Holiday KISSES with Red, Green and Silver Foils (52 oz, 240 ct.) and HERSHEY’S Holiday Assortment candy (38 oz, 240 pieces), so I’m all set to bake several batches of these delicious Gingerbread Gems.

Plus, I nabbed a large assortment of HERSHEY’S favorites to use in gift bags and as stocking stuffers… shh, don’t tell my fam!

Did you know you can conveniently shop online at Sam’s Club for all your HERSHEY’S holiday candy?

a sam's club card on a table with Hershey holiday candy

How to make gingerbread cookies with HERSHEY’S

If you’re looking for a new cookie recipe to make with the kids, this is it. You’ll want to plan ahead as the dough needs to be thoroughly chilled (at least 4 hours) before getting the kids involved in rolling it into balls.

  1. Use a stand mixer to prepare the dough by creaming together butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs, molasses, and vanilla, then slowly add the flour and spices (ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg).
  3. Wrap up the dough and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Roll the dough into balls — this is a good thing for the kids to help do — and in a bowl of sugar.
  5. Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
  6. While the cookies are still warm, gently press an unwrapped HERSHEY’S milk chocolate KISS in the center. (You’ll want to unwrap more KISSES than you need, as a few are bound to find their way into your mouth!)
  7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Gingerbread Kiss Cookies process images

Can you freeze Gingerbread KISS Cookies?

I don’t recommend freezing Gingerbread Gems after they have been baked, however, you definitely can freeze the cookie dough to bake at a later time.

To freeze, roll the chilled gingerbread dough into balls and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet uncovered in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until firm. Transfer the cookies to a resealable plastic freezer bag and store frozen for up to 3 months.

How to bake frozen cookie dough

While the oven is preheating, remove the cookie dough balls from the freezer and roll in granulated sugar. Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes.

How long will Gingerbread KISS Cookies stay fresh?

Store baked Gingerbread Gem cookies tightly sealed at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

A plate of Gingerbread Kiss Cookies on a red dish towel with candy on a table

Have you started your holiday baking?

If not, now’s the time to stock up at Sam’s on holiday baking supplies and stocking stuffers, like HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Holiday KISSES with Red, Green and Silver Foils (52 oz, 240 ct.) and HERSHEY’S Holiday Assortment candy (38 oz, 240 pieces).

That’s enough KISSES to make FIVE batches of today’s cookies—plenty to share with neighbors and friends! Whether you shop in person or online, the Sam’s Club staff is always friendly and helpful.

A plate of Gingerbread Kiss Cookies on a wooden table

Let’s bake!

Once you pop these cookies into the oven, the aroma in your kitchen will have you anxiously awaiting that first warm cookie sample!

gingerbread gems on a plate with a wrapped Hershey's kiss

Please share!

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Yield: 4 dozen

Gingerbread Gems

Close up of a plate of Gingerbread Kiss Cookies on a wooden table

Gingerbread Gems (or Gingerbread KISS Cookies) with ginger, cinnamon, and molasses are thumbprint cookies bedecked with a HERSHEY’S milk chocolate KISS in the center.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar, for rolling
  • 48 HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate KISSES, unwrapped

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla extract. Continue mixing, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until well incorporated
  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Shape the chilled dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll each in a bowl of sugar. Place the sugar coated dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press a HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Holiday KISS into the center of each cookie.
  7. Leave the cookies on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Rinse your hands in cool water and don't dry them completely to make rolling the cookie dough easier. The water will help keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Repeat as necessary.

Store cookies tightly sealed at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

To freeze and bake later:

Roll the chilled dough into balls, then place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes, until firm. Transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag and store frozen for up to 3 months.

To bake frozen cookies:

While the oven is preheating, remove the cookie dough balls from the freezer and roll in granulated sugar. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake as directed.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

48

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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ABOUT SHEILA
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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