Clove, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Cookies

Crisp clove, cinnamon, and chocolate cookies are filled with warming, earthy spices, chocolate, and pistachios. Muscovado sugar gives them a chewy texture and rich flavor, making them perfect for dunking in a warm cuppa on a chilly afternoon.

Clove cinnamon and chocolate cookies stacked up on a green cupboard with twine and another stack of cookies in front.

Adapted from Chetna Makan | The Cardamom Trail | Mitchell Beazley, 2021

Clove is so often associated with traditional British cooking—hot cross buns, mulled wine—one can easily forget how frequently it’s used in other cuisines. It gives a warming base note to many types of dishes. It’s always used in small quantities because its sweet, aromatic flavor is very strong and pungent. In Indian cuisine, cloves are a typical component of garam masala and feature in many curries, particularly meat ones such as Kashmir’s rogan josh and Bengal’s mangshor jhol. They lend a rich flavor that is especially suited to winter.—Chetna Makan

Clove, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Cookies FAQs

What kind of cinnamon should I use in these cookies?

There are a few types of cinnamon but let’s focus on the ones that are most readily available. Sri Lankan (also known as Ceylon) cinnamon is widely regarded as the “best” cinnamon, because of its sweeter and less bitter taste, and finer texture. However, Cassia cinnamon is easier to find, less expensive, and likely what you have on hand. It’s made from a thicker bark and so the texture isn’t as fine, but it won’t be noticeable in cookies.

Can I substitute anything for the muscovado sugar in this recipe?

Muscovado sugar can still be hard to find, so if you can’t, you do have a few options. An unrefined or partially refined cane sugar with a strong molasses flavor and high moisture content, it has a slightly coarse texture and feels sticky to the touch. The best sub is to stir 2 tablespoons of molasses into 1 cup of white sugar until it’s the texture of wet sand. Dark brown sugar, Demerara, and turbinado sugars aren’t as moist but will still work too.

Clove, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Cookies

Clove cinnamon and chocolate cookies stacked up on a green cupboard with twine and another stack of cookies in front.
Clove is a great spice to use, but it’s rather underrated. Pairing it with cinnamon—as in Christmas mince pies and mulled wine, or a festive biryani—gives a touch of magic to these lovely cookies. Chocolate and pistachio nuts add creaminess. I think you’ll find everything comes together beautifully.

Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins
36 cookies
131 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter softened
  • 7 ounces (about 1 cup) dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 3/4 ounces (about 1/3 cup) superfine sugar (or blitz granulated sugar in a food processor until finely ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 9 ounces (about 1 cup) self-rising flour
  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup) chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) pistachio nuts, roughly chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric , beat the butter, sugars, and spices together until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the whole egg and yolk.
  • Stir in the flour, chocolate chips, and all but a handful of the chopped pistachios and mix to bring the dough together.
  • Roughly shape a big tablespoonful of the mixture into a ball and put a few of the reserved chopped pistachios on top. Place this ball on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough, leaving enough space between them for the cookies to spread during cooking.
  • Bake until the cookies start to color but are still chewy in the middle, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool. These cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 131kcal (7%)Carbohydrates: 16g (5%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mg (7%)Sodium: 5mgPotassium: 67mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 9g (10%)Vitamin A: 152IU (3%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 14mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These clove, cinnamon, and chocolate cookies have a perfect blend of warm spicy sweetness with the crunch and chewiness I crave when I want to enjoy a good cookie (or three) with a cup of hot tea and a good book, preferably in front of a fireplace.

Delightful served warm from the oven, I baked half of the batch when I mixed them up and refrigerated the second half to bake the next day. So you could make them a day in advance and greet your friends with the aroma of fresh-baked cookies.

If dark muscovado sugar is hard to find, I found an acceptable substitute to be dark brown sugar. I added a tablespoon of molasses to amplify the intensity of flavor. Whatever nut you prefer could be substituted for the pistachios. I used walnuts because I had them on hand. I also used the “blitz” technique to grind my granulated sugar to a finer texture.

These clove, cinnamon, and chocolate cookies are different from the good ole’ chocolate chip cookie. These have a nice crisp crust and delicate chewy innards. The clove and cinnamon are not overpowering, and I’ll double those portions for my next batch to really get those holiday flavors more prominent with each bite! I used my smallest cookie scoop for these as I prefer the uniformity of size for each cookie.

Originally published December 13, 2021


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