I remember my first introduction to ginger cookies when I was in Elementary school. I immediately loved the taste of all the wonderful spices and the gingery-ness of them. Unfortunately, cookies were not something that my parents purchased during their weekly grocery trips. In fact, at that time I’m not sure they even knew what American cookies were. But I became obsessed with them and could not get the taste of them out of my head. The more I couldn’t have them, the more I craved for them. I begged and begged my parents to buy them for me but to no avail. Finally, after weeks went by and I wouldn’t shut up about these cookies they finally caved and bought me 2 gingerbread cookies. I was told I had to “ration” these and I wouldn’t be getting anymore. My first instinct was to immediately devour the cookies but I controlled myself and savored each single bite. They didn’t last long though and I don’t ever remember my parents buying me ginger cookies again.
Needless to say, I love ginger anything these days and these molasses spice cookies totally fit the bill. They’re loaded with wonderful spices, has just the right amount of ginger and they’re perfectly chewy. I could easily eat an entire batch all by myself. But I try not to. It’s hard but with all things in life – moderation is key.
Molasses Spice Cookies (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup molasses, light or dark
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup sugar for rolling in a shallow, wide bowl.
- Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter with brown and granulated sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the egg yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to lowest setting; add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl down once. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Dough will be soft.
- Using tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll between palms into 1 1/2-inch ball. Roll ball in sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake if you want the cookies to be soft and chewy.
- Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
- The cookies keep well in an airtight container for several days (if they last that long).