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Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies

This Delicious Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Christmas Cookie has a hint of cinnamon, a chewy interior, and a crunchy exterior. They are the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie recipe list 

I am so excited to share my Grandma Stocker’s Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies recipe with you today. Several of my posts reference my Grandma; I talked about her baking skill and about our shared love of nice linens.  

We never lacked incredible baked goods when I was growing up.  In fact, I am really embarrassed to admit I was jealous of the kids at the school lunch table whose sandwiches were made with store-bought white bread. It incensed me that I had to have my sandwiches made with her homemade bread!  

I guess I need to remind myself of this when I feel my children aren’t as grateful as they should be.

As much as we had baked goods year-round, Grandma always bumped it up a notch during Christmas. These fudgy chocolate cookies with a crisp exterior were always a staple on our “must bake” Christmas cookie recipe list.

It gives me immense joy that my children, who never had an opportunity to know her, refer to some of our recipes as ‘Grandma Stocker’s Pumpkin Pie’ or ‘Grandma Stocker’s Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookie recipe’.  

The joy of handwritten recipe cards

Grandma's recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Cookies.

I have binders of recipes that I collected in the pre-internet and pre-Pinterest days (click here for the recipe binder labels that I use), and this is one of the recipes included in this collection that begins with ‘Grandma Stocker’s’.  

Even though I have many recipes stored online, I enjoy opening my binders and seeing these handwritten or typed recipe cards. They take me back to so many lovely memories.  

One of my girlfriends has a notebook of family recipes that her mother gave to her on her wedding day. The recipes are handwritten in her mother’s hand.  What an incredible gift and one I am determined to compile for both of my children when they embark on their own.

OK, let me get back to this chocolate cookie recipe and why you will want to include it on your Christmas cookie baking list.   These Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies are the magical combination of a chewy middle with a crisp exterior…sheer cookie bliss in my book.  They are rich with chocolate but have just a tad of cinnamon that surprises your taste buds.  Are you sold yet?

A close up of a glass cup on a napkin, with Chocolate Cookie.

What makes these Chocolate Cookies ‘Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies’?

I have to freely admit that I have no idea what makes these cookies ‘Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies’.  Grandma did hail from Pennsylvania, so that’s the only line I can draw from her to these cookies. But…a chocolate cookie recipe is a chocolate cookie recipe, no matter where it’s from!

I put my own twist on the original recipe by adding just a pinch of cinnamon.  You see, I have a thing about Chocolate and Cinnamon.  I believe this pairing is woefully under-appreciated by the food world!  But if you don’t share my opinion, then skip the cinnamon.  They are also excellent without it.

Also, Grandma would flatten the cookies by dipping a fork in red or green sugar and then make a criss-cross pattern on the cookie with the sugar.  I always like to avoid food colorings if possible. Plus, with all due respect to Grandma, the red and green sugars never really appeared on the dark brown cookie.  They really needed something white…like white icing snowflakes! These will look wonderful on any Christmas cookie table!

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kitchenaid stand mixer

my kitchen workhorse

  • 7-quart capacity
  • 10 speeds range from very slow stirring to very high beating.
  • Makes up to 14 dozen cookies or 8 lb. of dough.
  •  Works with all KitchenAid attachments.
Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies

Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies

My grandma's recipe for chewy, yet slightly crisp, chocolate cookies. Perfect for your Christmas cookie baking list or anytime
4.82 from 16 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Baking Recipes + Tips
Cuisine American
Servings 3 dozen
Calories 1476 kcal


For the Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon optional
  • Granulated sugar to roll cookie balls in.
  • For the Icing small batch to decorate 2-3 dozen cookies with snowflakes
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups confectioner's sugar


For the Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350'F
  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add eggs and cocoa and beat at low speed until mixed well
  • Add flour, soda, salt and cinnamon, and mix until well blended.
  • Roll into balls, about the size of walnuts and place 2" apart on a greased cookie sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll the balls in sugar and flatten with the bottom of a cup
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Once cool, decorate with royal icing if desired. Grandma would make these by just decorating them with colored sugar.

For the Icing

  • Add the egg white to the bowl of the mixer and beat until frothy.
  • Add vanilla and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and mix until it is the consistency of toothpaste.
  • You may need to add more powdered sugar to get the right consistency, but do it in small increments.
  • If it becomes too thick, add water in wee increments.
  • Fill icing bag.
  • I used a Wilton #3 round tip to make my snowflakes.


Adapted from Grandma Stocker


Serving: 1gCalories: 1476kcalCarbohydrates: 213gProtein: 19gSaturated Fat: 42gCholesterol: 271mgSodium: 1027mgFiber: 11gSugar: 134g
Keyword chocolate, cookies
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Chocolate Cookies with snowflakes drawn in icing.

Are you well into your baking?  If I may offer a bit of advice…definitely add these Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate cookies to your baking ‘to do’ list.  You’ll thank me.

What are the ‘family tradition’ treats you’ll be baking this Christmas? This delightful chocolate cookie recipe has been a favorite on our Christmas cookie-baking list for a long time!

If you are looking for other Christmas cookie ideas, please check out these gorgeous mixed metals decorated sugar cookies.

Chocolate Cookies with snowflakes drawn in icing.
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Signature of Lynn

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  1. Lynn, wow, I can’t believe it, but as a kid, I wanted to have square sandwiches, instead of the roundish ones I had, which was my moms bread. LoL! It used to be like that in our house, my grandma baked and cooked the most amazing things, especially at Christmas. I just started baking this weekend with my girls and I must say these cookies will definitely be on my list… They look lovely decorated with the snowflakes and as always, your photography is amazing! I think I will try them with the cinnamon, I love cinnamon on everything!!! Amazing how much we have in common, I only wish we’d live closer, hey!

    1. It would be lovely if we could get together for a baking party and we have so many shows to choose from to watch. Spain is on our list of next travel places, as is Greece…just don’t know when.
      I hope you and your wee ones enjoy baking and enjoy this yummy cookies. And so glad to hear I wasn’t the only ungrateful child growing up. I’ve tried, but I’ve never mastered my Grandma’s bread. Just as well…I find that I’m better off without it anyway.
      Kisses, Lynn

  2. This is such a sweet story and I can relate to all these memories. My grandmother had such a big impact on my baking and cooking, as well. I have lots of written notes saved of the years and they just can’t be replaced by online storage. Priceless. I will be pinning this recipe to my Christmas and Cookie board and hope that I will get around to try them out 🙂

    1. Good Morning Ilka, that’s for stopping by. In complete agreement that there is something so personal and special about a note or recipe card written by hand. It saddens me that these tokens of our past are really falling by the wayside. That’s why I am determined to start a collection of recipes written in my hand for each of my children for when they head out on their own.
      I hope you enjoy the cookies and I’m anxious to have a look at your Avocado Banana Bread!

    2. Good Morning Ilka and thanks for stopping by. I’m so with you on the hand-written vs digital version of something. Saddens me that these tokens of our past have truly fallen by the wayside, which is why I am determined to compile a handwritten journal of our family favorite recipes for each of my kiddos when they head out on their own.
      And I’m so looking forward to trying to your Avocado Banana bread…all goodness in there.
      Have a great day, Lynn

  3. A good day to you Lynn. These cookies look so yummy. I have my daughter who wants to become a pastry chef and so I send her all these great recipes and she tries them all out. Guess who gets to tast all of the yumminess. Yes, yours truly, and I have the extra pounds to show for it. As long as it doesn’t copme from a box I am not complaining.

    Now getting back to our tv show obsession. I watched all 5 seasons of the WIre. It was a very slow start at the beginning but well worth it in the long run. It was written by a Baltimore journalist and he documents different facets of life in Baltimore, politics, education etc. Each topic was examined in detail per season. If you have the time you should reconsider.

    1. OK, you’ve convinced me to revisit the Wire. My husband and I have a 30 year tradition of eating nachos and watching movies on Friday night, so it looks like we’ll try the Wire tonight. Thanks.

      And I hope you and your family enjoy the cookies as much as we do…they really are quite tasty.

      Happy weekend, Lynn

  4. Yum! Sometimes a simple recipe with good, rich ingredients is 10x better than all the fancy candies and cookies out there. And you’ve decorated them beautifully (I haven’t told you, yet, but we share a love for painting!) I thought The Wire was a great series, too! Season 3 (on education) was especially good.

    1. Hi Mary, fellow painter! We’ll have to have a painting day though I must admit that I really don’t do much on a regular basis…just when the feeling moves me!
      And you and the other Mary have convinced me to give the Wire a try again. I do have a serious crush on Idris Elba (did you watch him in Luther on the BBC? Oh, so good!) so that’s even more incentive for me to give it a whirl tonight.
      Happy Weekend Mary!


  5. Yes! I checked and I think it’s The Wire season 4 on education. I loved Luther, too! I made it through the first season but didn’t get into season 2 (I think we see less of Alice, no?). Yes, I’m fortunate that I get in one painting per year at this rate! Will have to ‘make time’ this upcoming year for more art!

    1. Good Morning Mary, you just made my heart sing! I’m so glad you are enjoying grandma’s cookies on the other side of the globe. Just such a great thought.

      Kisses and enjoy your day, Lynn

    1. Hi Keri, I’m so glad you enjoyed them. They are pretty nummy, aren’t they! Grandma Stocker is smiling down in glee that show many lovely families are enjoying her cookies this Christmas.

      Happy Day, Lynn

    1. I do hope you give them a try Sandra. We’re getting ready to do another round of baking in the next day or two. So much fun!

      Thanks for visiting and hope you have a wonderful Christmas!


  6. Those look super yummy! I am a fan of a chewy cookie. I also try to avoid using artificial colors in my baking. I wish I had my Mom’s handwritten recipes. I don’t remember my Grandmother even using recipes! She made a mean kugel,…but I never saw it written down! Wish I had- Looking forward to trying these! Thank you!

    1. Good Morning GiGi! I hope you do enjoy them.
      And I wish you had your grandmother’s kugel recipe too! I’d love a good kugel recipe. When we were in Germany I fell in love with apple kugel!
      Gigi, your photos are beautiful. I’m looking forward to using some on my blog. Thanks so much for making them available to the world.

      Have a great day, Lynn

  7. Lynn, these images are so professional, I want to sit right down and snuggle in with a cup of coffee and these cookies, so impressed with your skills! And the cookies are gorgeous, I love the snowflake idea, they pop off the cookie, love it! When we were little my mom had to use boughten bread for our sandwiches, where else would we have gotten the bread bags that covered our boots or shoes when we went out to play in the snow???? LOL Did you wear those on your feet????

    1. Gee, thanks Nikki. Very much appreciate all your kind words. I’m really working on my photography…in fact I have enrolled in a photography class at our local college which starts next week. Yikes…still need to figure out how to add a couple of days to my week to accommodate that! And, in terms of wearing bread bags on my feet….my dad was in the Navy so I spent my childhood in Hawaii and Guam, so I did not see much snow while growing. So…it’s a good thing I didn’t grow up in a snowy environment because I’m not sure what we would’ve put on our feet!
      Happy New Year!


  8. I found these at a health food store & haven’t seen them aehrynwe else yet. Of course, I’m hoarding mine & haven’t run out yet. But I’m also keeping my eyes peeled. When I find them again, they are mine! *Mwahahahaha!*Oh. I can also probably just go back to that same health food store. I’m sure they’ve gotten more in by now. :happysun

  9. Hey Lynn! I am going to try the recipe this weekend for a cookie exchange I will be attending next week. Thanks so much for sharing it, these look so yummy!

4.82 from 16 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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