Full of warm spice and rich flavors, these ginger-maple cookies with orange zest are bursting with fall flavor. Each buttery bite is perfectly soft and chewy. You won't find a more perfect fall cookie.
Fall baking is in full swing, and there isn’t anything more relaxing than spending a lazy weekend afternoon baking a batch of fall-inspired cookies. Enter these ginger-maple cookies with orange zest.
With the dark brown sugar and rich maple flavor, these cookies are perfectly cozy. Two kinds of ginger offer a slightly spicy kick while fresh orange peel adds a pop of brightness.
Oh, and let's not forget about the perfect texture of these cookies. To me, homemade cookies should be soft, chewy and moist, which is exactly what these ginger-maple cookies are. If I want hard, crunchy cookies, I can buy a bag of Chips Ahoy and call it a day.
When you bite into these ginger-maple cookies, the top is soft and pillowy while the bottom is caramelized just enough to give a chewy finish. See? Everything about that texture is perfect. Clearly, you need these cookies in your life ASAP.
Let's chat ingredients. Here's everything we need to make these ginger-maple cookies.
- Ground ginger
- Baking soda
- White sugar
- Dark brown sugar
- Orange zest
- Fresh ginger
- Maple and vanilla extracts
- White chocolate chips
And now a couple notes. You may have noticed I specified dark brown sugar rather than light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has a higher molasses content, which makes for a richer flavor and chewier cookie. Could you use light brown sugar? Sure, but I think dark brown sugar makes for a more complex, tastier cookie.
I also used white chocolate chips rather than your typical chocolate chip for this recipe. Not everyone loves white chocolate, so you can certainly substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips if you prefer. That's your call.
How to Make
Let's get to it, shall we? To start, we mix together flour, baking soda, salt and ground ginger. Easy enough.
Using a hand or stand mixer, we now beat softened butter, white sugar, dark brown sugar, ginger, orange peel, vanilla extract and maple extract together until they're fluffy.
For this step, I recommend keeping these tips in mind.
- On my Kitchenaid stand mixer, I find speed four for four minutes is perfect, but you can also use a hand mixer.
- The butter should be soft enough that it'll leave finger indentions if you press into it, but your fingers also won't slide through and cut the butter in half.
- A microplane grater works beautifully for the fresh ginger and orange peel. This handy little tool makes the process efficient, and I much prefer the zest I get from a microplane grater as opposed to a zester.
- When grating fresh ginger, I find it's much easier if you freeze the ginger first. Otherwise, it can get stringy and difficult to handle. You can peel the ginger using the side a spoon and then keep the ginger in the freezer, so you always have fresh ginger on hand.
From here, we beat in the eggs, add the dry ingredients and stir in the white chocolate chips. No judgment here if you sneak a bite or two of cookie dough. That's the best part, right?
Why Should I Chill Cookie Dough?
Now that our cookie dough is mixed, I like to chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. I know this step isn't ideal, but it's important.
Chilling the dough solidifies the butter, which prevents overspreading. Plus, chilled dough has a chewier texture and more concentrated flavor because the sugar has a chance to absorb some liquid. So take this time to pour yourself a drink and relax on the couch while the cookie dough works its magic.
Best Size for Cookie Dough Balls
When forming the cooking dough, I like to shape them so that they're about the size of a golf ball. This is bigger than a small cookie dough scooper, but I find baking the cookies on the larger side helps keep them extra soft.
Because these cookie dough balls are on the larger side, we want to make sure they have plenty of space on the baking sheet. As you can see from the photo below, I leave a couple inches between each cookie dough ball.
We now pop the cookies into the oven and bake for no more than nine minutes. The cookies might appear underbaked at this point, but that's what we want. That underbaked look also ensures we get perfectly soft cookies, and they'll solidify as they cool. Just go with me on this one.
Now dig into your big batch of freshly baked cookies that will give you all the fall vibes. Bonus points for enjoying while still warm from the oven.
How Long Can You Store Cookies?
As long as you store the cookies in an airtight container, they should stay delicious and moist for three to four days. This is one of the reasons I love putting out a tray of cookies when entertaining. They're easy to serve, everyone loves homemade cookies, and we can make them ahead of time.
During the fall and winter months, Belgian-style ales pair well with so many seasonal foods, and these orange-ginger-maple cookies are no exception. Specifically, I love a Belgian strong dark ale with these cookies. In fact, last holiday season, I posted a cookie and beer pairing for the seven days leading up to Christmas on Instagram. These cookies made an appearance on the list with Delirium Noël, a Belgian strong dark ale, as the beer pairing of choice.
Although Delirium Noël is specifically brewed for the holiday season, those beers usually start making appearances on the shelves around October. I would be surprised if you can't get that beer by now. If you can't find Delirium Noël, any other Belgian dark strong ale should work well.
Belgian dark strong ales typically come with a slightly spicy yeast profile, which melds well with the ginger. We also get lots of dark fruit undertones that are the perfect match for the maple and dark brown sugar. This beer style is also high in alcohol, giving it some residual sweetness that makes it great with desserts.
For a wine pairing, let's go with a muscat, which is a sweet fortified wine. With spicy desserts, muscats work well because the sweetness offers a nice contrast. Muscat also shows off raisin, toffee and fig flavors --- all of which pair nicely with the flavors in these cookies.
When the baking bug bites you, I hope you whip up a batch of these orange, ginger and maple cookies. They're always a hit, and I'm sure you'll love them as well. Please let me know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Looking for More Fall Desserts?
- Bourbon-pumpkin ice cream
- Apple spice cupcakes with praline filling and brown sugar frosting
- Buttermilk-pumpkin pound cake
- Butterscotch ice cream with candied pecans
- Cranberry-orange cookies with white chocolate chips
- 12 best pumpkin desserts
Ginger-Maple Cookies With Orange Zest
- Mixing bowl
- Standing mixer or hand mixer
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 (12)-ounce bag white chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, stir together flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt until well mixed.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter, sugars, orange zest, fresh ginger and extracts until fluffy. If needed, periodically scrap the edge of the bowl.
- Again, scrap the edge of the bowl and add one egg. Beat until just combined. Repeat with the second egg.
- Add a spoonful or two of the flour mixture and stir until it's incorporated. Repeat until you mix in all of the flour. Stir in the white chocolate chips and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
- As the dough refrigerates, heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Form the dough into golf ball-size balls and drop onto an ungreased, parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each dough ball. Bake for nine minutes. The dough might look underbaked, but that's OK. This leaves the cookies soft, and they solidify as they cool.
- Allow the cookies to cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before moving to wire baking racks to finish cooling. Once cooled, store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- Don't scoop the measuring cup in a bag of flour. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level with a knife. Scooping flour packs in too much.
- For room-temperature eggs, set them out 30 minutes before preparing the dough. If you forget to set your eggs out, you can quickly warm them up by setting them in warm -- not hot -- water for 10 minutes.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Recipe originally published in October 2018 and republished in October 2020.