- Combine the salt and vanilla bean seeds in a bowl, mix well to combine. Store in a glass jar and let sit overnight. Any leftovers can be kept at room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla, beat until combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, ginger and cinnamon. Beat until fully incorporated into the dough.
- Generously flour your work surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk.
- Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure to use enough flour or your dough will stick. You can also roll the dough out between two pieces of wax paper. Cut the cookies out into gingerbread men/women. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the freezer, freeze until very firm, about 25 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps and add to the remaining disk of dough. Repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until just set. Do not over bake. Cool on the baking sheet five minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Dip each cookie in melted chocolate and then sprinkle the vanilla salt over the chocolate. If desired, you can draw faces on the cookies using the chocolate. Just add the chocolate to a sandwich size bag and snip of a small portion of one corner of the bag. Decorate as desired. Place the cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. EAT…preferably with a large glass of cold milk!
*Recipe adapted from Donna Hay.