“Chocolate-Gingerbread Flora & Fauna Cookies” – The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

choco gingerbread2

I have been saving these flora & fauna cookie cutters for a special baking occasion. The 2014 Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap seems like such a  moment in this holiday season. Started by fellow bloggers at Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen a few years ago, this very worthwhile fundraiser for Cookies For Kid’s Cancer is always a lot of fun to participate in and if you did not have time this year try to make time in 2015.

My cookies combine dark cocoa, Nashville’s own Olive & Sinclair Cinnamon Chili Mexican Style Chocolate along with gingerbread spices &  local molasses. The dough cut into forest animals, acorns & leaves lightly decorated with a simple icing is perhaps all you need, along with world peace & love to make this one nice holiday season one chocolate-gingerbread bite at a time.

Just “Imagine”.


Olive & Sinclair has shown up in quite a few desserts here at food on fifth. This one is my  favorite for cookies…cinnamon & chili.


Round cookies? Square? Shapes for sure. Some vintage, some new cutters.


Upon my doorstep one day there appeared a package from OXO and inside was what really turned out to save the day when it came to icing my cookies….Like magic a set of OXO Good Grips Baker’s Silicone Decorating Bottle Kit appeared just when I needed to ice these cookies. Thanks OXO elves!


Royal icing, my new OXO icing tool and some sanding sugar made this part effortless.


While the icing dried I put together a few tags, my business card……


…stamped the tins with Holiday images, checked to make sure the tags worked…..


..nestled the cookies for a safe trip out into the big, wide world……


….tins packed…boxes stamped….Happy Holidays all you other Cookie Swapper’s out there.


A big thanks to my three fellow bloggers that I received delicious cookies from…Kristin at kesaling.com (sorry your site is not coming up so I could not do a link!…Amanda at amandakbythebay.blogspot.com and Renee at marriedandhungryblog.blogspot.com…Santa is going to love your cookies as much as I do!


Happy December, Be Sweet and Kind and Bake more cookies to share!

Chocolate-Gingerbread Flora & Fauna Cookies

  • Servings: 36cookies
  • Difficulty: very
  • Print


  • For Gingerbread spice – 1 tbsp ground ginger; 2 tsp ground cinnamon; 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves, mixed together in a small bowl
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3 ozs baking chocolate (of your choice) melted & cooled to room temp
  • For Royal Icing – 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar; 1 egg white; 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sanding Sugar/Decorating Sugar in Clear or White or Silver


  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together the gingerbread spice mix, cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt.
  2. In a stand mixer using the paddle, beat together the butter & vegetable shortening.
  3. Add the brown sugar & beat until fluffy and light.
  4. Add the egg & beat until well blended. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  5. Lastly beat in the molasses and melted chocolate. Beat for about 2 minutes until ingredients are very well mixed.
  6. Add the flour mixture in batches until well incorporated, beating to form a dough.
  7. Scrape dough from mixer bowl, divide into 3 balls, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour before using.
  8. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2-3  cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Working with one cookie dough disk at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thick. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes & place on parchment lined pans. Gather up any dough scraps and re-roll and cut out more cookies until all of the dough is used.  Work in batches, rolling out next disk of dough while others are baking.
  10. Bake cookies for about 6-8 minutes, or until cookies are slightly puffy and dry on top. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on pan for a few minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely before icing. Repeat process until all dough is baked.
  11. For icing whisk together the powdered sugar, egg white & lemon juice until smooth. Put icing in an icing bag with a small tip or other icing tool, such as the OXO one I used. Set aside until cookies are completely cooled.
  12. Decorate cooled chocolate-gingerbread cookies with icing. Sprinkle with some sanding sugar to add a bit of Holiday glitter.Icing will harden in a few minutes. Eat, Share, Send, Make More!

Notes: These cookies are terrific dipped in hot coffee or alongside a cup of tea. Kids love the animal shapes.

Teresa Blackburn   http://www.foodonfifth.com       http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com


Animal Cookie Cutters from IKEA, Trees, Acorns & Leaves various Antique Malls during the year.

OXO Icing Tool (randomly arrived at my house unsolicited but it turned out I needed such a thing so I am saying I like it with no money having changed hands! Available online I  suppose.

Glitter Christmas Houses from All Seasons right here in Nashville. Every year I buy a few to add to my village!

White tins and packing boxes from The Container Store.