Chocolate Ginger Cookies With Figs and Walnuts Recipe

The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darknessclock1 hour 15 minscourseDessertStart CookingComment on this storyCommentAdd to your saved recipesSaveBy Sarah Owens

This adaptable chocolate ginger cookie with figs and walnuts from cookbook author Sarah Owens is loaded with whole-grain flavor, nutrition and textural interest. Molasses gives the cookies a slightly chewy texture. The nutty flours pair naturally with cocoa to create an ideal canvas for the walnuts and dark Mission figs.

Although the millet topping is optional, it adds a welcome crunch and playful appearance. These cookies look more uniform if portioned and rolled into balls, but you can also scoop the dough and drop it directly onto the sheet pan to save time.

Make ahead: To freeze, place the shaped cookie dough on a lined sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once the dough is frozen, transfer to an airtight container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen, adding 3 to 5 minutes to the baking time.

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, although the cookies may turn from slightly chewy to cake-like over time. The baked cookies do not freeze well.

Where to buy: Whole-grain brown teff and spelt flours and whole millet seed can be found at health food stores or online from Camas Country Mill.

From culinary instructor, horticulturist and cookbook author Sarah Owens.

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measuring cup

Servings: 15 (makes 15 three-inch cookies)


Time Icon
1 hour |
Total: 1 hour 15 mins

  • Step 1

    Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.

  • Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, teff flour, pumpkin spice, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift the cocoa over and whisk to combine.

  • Step 3

    In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer with a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter on medium-high speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until the butter lightens in color and texture, 2 to 3 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the molasses, grated ginger and vanilla and mix on medium until smooth and syrupy. Add the figs, walnuts and crystallized ginger and mix on low speed just to combine. Add the flour mixture in three increments, mixing on low to incorporate, or turn off the mixer and use a spatula to finish combining the dough. (If you are using a hand mixer, you may wish to switch to stirring by hand as soon as you start adding the flour.) The dough should be sticky and somewhat loose.

  • Step 4

    Using a No. 16 disher or 1/4-cup measure, divide the dough into 15 equal portions, 60 to 65 grams each. Place the portioned dough on one of the prepared sheet pans, and refrigerate until slightly firm, about 20 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Place the millet in a small bowl and roll the dough balls in the millet. As you work, transfer to the prepared pans, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart.

  • Step 6

    Bake 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through. When the cookies are done, they will have spread to 3 to 3 1/4 inches, with tops that are slightly cracked and just-set edges.

  • Step 7

    Remove from the oven. Let cool on the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely, 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Substitutions

    Want a lower glycemic index? >> Use raw coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
    More chocolate? >> Sub chocolate chips for the walnuts or figs.
    Nut-free? >> Sub chocolate chips or more figs for the walnuts.

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    Nutritional Facts

    Per cookie

    • Calories


    • Fat

      12 g

    • Saturated Fat

      5 g

    • Carbohydrates

      40 g

    • Sodium

      169 mg

    • Cholesterol

      41 mg

    • Protein

      5 g

    • Fiber

      3 g

    • Sugar

      24 g

    This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

    From culinary instructor, horticulturist and cookbook author Sarah Owens.

    Tested by Becky Krystal.

    Published December 4, 2023

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