Salted Chocolate Gingerbread Moose & Other Delights.

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You may have noticed by now, that we march to the beat of our own drummer around here. It’s not just that I don’t know what Cassidy is going to do at any given time, like come home with a 17-foot Christmas tree, dress up like a 7-foot tree, paint the garden shed to look like a TARDIS, or come home with a puppy, among other things. It’s that I never know when. What about that time he found a moose in a dark clearing? Or placed two kittens in the garden for Scarlet to find? If you want, we can talk about the time he surprised me with Eric Clapton tickets and bought me peanut butter cup ice cream at 3:00am.

Hallmark Ornaments(Life = always an adventure)

I digress, and anyway, that’s a whole post of its own. Today we’re talking about the holidays. When you get two weird dreamers together and give them kids, holidays adjust to their new proportions. There was that matter of the tree, of course, and when “Santa” gave Scarlet four tickets to Disney World. That was truly desirable. Again, I digress. What it’s about is dreaming big and mainly – keeping it real. It’s about what our hearts tell us to do. There are antique ornaments, sure. There are silver bells and rainbow lights and snowmen and picture frames. Then there are SUPERHEROES and other delights.

There are gingerbread, and even truly good ones. Then there are chocolate gingerbread men. Salted chocolate gingerbread men. And why not just up the game and turn those gingerbread men into Salted Chocolate Gingerbread MOOSE?

On Sunday afternoon I went to Walmart to fight my November, early sunset blues. Then I came upon the most amazing Hallmark display! I was really happy because I had wanted to find Star Wars, superhero and Disney ornaments, but didn’t realize I could find them right in my town! There were also many amazing cards too. Every year we go all out with our Christmas tree and decorations, to make them so uniquely “us.” It’s become our annual post-Thanksgiving tradition.

(That’s how tall our tree is. I took this photo on the second floor and the tree behind me starts on the first floor!)

Every year we spread cheer throughout the house with tree decorating, stories, music and cookie baking. I couldn’t wait to see the selection this year, to decide what to get each member of my family. I can never narrow it down well.

Basically, I want every ornament there! I settled on three, but may or may not be going back for three more! (may)

These are all the ornaments that describe our personalities. Scarlet’s is Elsa. Des’ is Superman. Cassidy’s is Iron Man. I was so happy to find the perfect Hallmark ornaments for our Christmas tree, and to use as holiday gifts. Walmart has 16 exclusives, resin figurines, Holiday Barbie, new deco figurines and more! I know you’re wondering about me though, right? What ornament is my personality? I think I love the Superman one best, but I’m a moose girl, so I had the kids help me with a new recipe after I gave them their new ornaments for our tree. I really love chewy gingerbread cookies but I wanted to take it to a new level – as gingerbread moose! THEN, I wanted to make them chocolate gingerbread. THEN, I wanted to make them SALTED chocolate gingerbread because I love that taste and it reminds me of the holidays. So I set up a baking station:

I actually pored over a half dozen gingerbread recipes, and then a half dozen chocolate gingerbread recipes and just adapted ingredients how I personally wanted them to taste! They are good! More than 8-10 minutes in the oven is too much, though!

Salted Chocolate Gingerbread Moose.

Salted Chocolate Gingerbread Moose.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 egg - I used jumbo size
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking bar - 16 pieces for us
  • Coarse or kosher sea salt - amount varies by taste


  1. Sift the three cups of flour together in a large mixing bowl. Add sifted cocoa powder, baking soda and salt as well! Set bowl aside.
  2. In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, white sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves until the mixture is light and fluffy. It was two minutes for us.
  3. Melt the chocolate baking pieces in the microwave or on the stove.
  4. Then add the egg, molasses, melted chocolate mixture and continue beating on medium speed for another two minutes.
  5. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix until well combined.
  7. Transfer the dough to a plate and flatten it into a disk. Cover it with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Put flour on a flat work surface and roll your dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. I had to separate the dough into quarters and only work with a quarter at a time.
  10. Use your moose cookie cutter (or cookie cutter of choice) and cut out as many cookies as you can.
  11. Place the cookies on the lined cookie sheets about one inch apart then gather all the dough scraps into a ball and place into the fridge until you're ready for a new batch.
  12. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly raised. Using a spatula, remove the cookies from the cookie sheets, transferring to a cooling rack.
  13. Enjoy!

Don’t mind the sporadic sea salt on our moose! That was Scarlet’s doing. I really love the bit of salt it adds to the recipe, though. The chocolate is very rich, and the ginger very nourishing, so the salt is a great balance of everything.

Which Hallmark ornament are you most looking forward to this season? I’d love to hear about your favorite family traditions!

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  1. Omg, these are perfect and seriously who would have guessed moose for you?! But honestly I so want to try as I usually make gingerbread cookies here, but now so want to try your moose ones. Thanks for sharing 😉

  2. Where did you find moose cookie cutters? Leave to to you to make gingerbread moose! That is so fun and creative. We don’t have our tree up yet. I think I’m going to wait until after Thanksgiving. I bet your Christmas tree is beautiful. Have a fantastic week!

    1. We actually have a lot of moose cookie cutters! Most of them are huge, though. I’m not even sure where they all came from. I think I got them all as gifts over the years – like with baking sets and whatnot. There’s a little gift store near my mom’s house that has them too.
      Want some?

  3. I’m sorry, but your cookies are amazing! My cookie-cutter cookies always come out funny. We get a ginormous tree every year, too. Can’t wait! And I always buy everyone their own ornament – so that some day they can take them for their tree. And then, of course, I’ll weep like a baby when they ask for them.

    1. Of course!
      I think I did that when my mom gave me all of my old ones from the years.
      I’m glad you like my cookies! The flavors are great. The first batch was left in the oven too long so they weren’t as chewy, but the second batch was fantastic.

  4. I love Hallmark ornaments! They are so cool. My mom gets my brother the newest Star Wars ornament every year! I am totally trying these cookies, by the way. They look so dang delicious!

    1. Thank you for saying that because I totally made up this recipe! So I was like. “Hmm.. I didn’t get it from Martha Stewart. Why doesn’t it already exist? Because it would be bad??”
      It’s not.

  5. Gingerbread moose—I love it! And hey, if I had space for a giant tree I’d probably also go with it 🙂 Though how you decorated all the way to the top is beyond me!

  6. You and your moose! Makes me laugh every time… I love salted everything. Never heard of salted gingerbread, but it sounds absolutely divine. I love that photo of Des where the reflection of his arms is so clear on the table. Very cool!

  7. Be STILL my beating heart! There is so much to love in this post. Salted chocolate gingerbread mooses and Hallmark and ornaments and an incredibly tall Christmas tree and a home that is filled with warmth and love and crystal clear, picture-perfect memories. Love. EVERYTHING. ALSO I <3 that your hubby still manages to surprise you with things. That's love 🙂 XOXO

    1. He’s very surprising! Usually if he’s not surprising me, something is wrong. And that does happen. And it’s not good!
      This is a very Tamara post!

  8. So I think you need to open up a gingerbread cookie shop! I stink at making gingerbread, but I am totally goign to try your recipe. Maybe I will do good this time 🙂 P.S. No tree is complete without superheroes and Princesses! Such a fun post! Happy almost Thanksgiving!

  9. Those cookies sound like they taste really good and they look really good too. I always love seeing all of the different Hallmark ornaments that they have each year.

  10. I cannot even remember what GINGERBREAD tastes like!!! How sad is that?!?! 🙁
    I don’t even remember what MOOSE look like… How sad it that?! My parents are moving from WY – so I need to go back and say BYE BYE to them!

  11. You’re Christmases seem magical, just how they should be. 🙂 I can feel the love & excitment in your pictures. Those moose cookies look AWESOME! I know my husband would love them. He is such a gingerbread cookie lover.

  12. those cookies look so cute. I love gingerbread cookies – never thought to have chocolate ones

    I just saw a darth vader ornament that would be cool 🙂

  13. How perfect that you chose moose for cookies!! Those ornaments are really awesome. I try to do new ornaments every year but most times I forget. My boys would love the superhero ones!

  14. Your family definitely seems to do Christmas right. And gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday treats. Your recipe may just have to make it into our rotation this season!

  15. I realize it’s time for us to get new ornaments! We’ve been using the old, classic ones every year. Time to change up a little bit. Also, your gingerbread moose cookies are perfect!

  16. Chocolate moose available via mail order, right? 🙂
    We have the most eclectic Christmas tree (after you) – there’s Disney ornaments – and I mean almost every character you can name including Figaro the cat and Jiminy Cricket. Then there are the home-made decorations I did with my mom when I was a little girl and the various unbreakables that hang low because CATS!! And of course our favourite Super Heroes hang beside baby Jesus and Frosty the Snowman because it’s all Goodness and Joy and hearts being filled! 🙂

    1. I really need to get this mail order function up and running already! I need it!
      I’d love Figaro. I always loved him. He’s why I wanted a cat as a kid. For Scarlet, it was Alice in Wonderland.

  17. GIVE ME ALL THE MOOSE! Seriously, how cute are these and your tree is that tall!?!? Come on over and decorate mine anytime you’d like! I love how you shared your tale of family traditions! #client

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