Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside
In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, shortening, vanilla or peppermint extract and maple syrup until creamy and uniform.
Add half of the flour mix into the liquids and stir to combine. Add the other half and continue to stir until uniform. This is going to look thick, use your hands if easier. When the batter is uniform, add in the chocolate chips and fold.
Form small size balls in the palm of your hands and press down slightly. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
Remove from oven, let it cool off for no more then 2-3 minutes then sprinkle with peppermint sprinkles or broken candy cane pieces.