Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cookie Week at Cafe 305: Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

First things first - Dad, you need to make these for Mom. She'll love them.

Now I have to send Dad a link to the blog, then call him to remind him to check his email. (Hey, Dad!) I think I'll wait a little while, though. It's 5:30 AM here, 4:30 AM there. I doubt he and Mom would appreciate that. No matter how good these cookies are.
Mom will love these. They're ginger-snappy.

And they are wonderful. Crisp and spicy, after they've cooled, soft and sugary while they're still warm - they make the whole house smell like Christmas. They are from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours", which would make an excellent gift for the serious baker on your list. I love my copy and it is well-used.

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • pinch (small or not so small) of cracked or coarsely ground black pepper (I went on the not so small side, because I like these with a little heat)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap, says the recipe, although last year I used blackstrap and they were still delicious. They were much darker, of course.)
  • 1 large egg
  • about 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

The recipe looks fussier than it really is. You mix the dry ingredients together, cream the butter and sugar and molasses, then blend the lot together. It makes a silky, soft dough that you divide in half, envelope in plastic wrap, and stick in the fridge for an hour. Or overnight, in my case.

Take the dough out of the fridge one batch at a time. Shape it into balls with your hands, then roll each ball in a little bowl of sugar to coat it, and place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.  The dough is quite easy to work. Bake them at 350F for about 12 - 14 minutes, and they come out like this.

Aren't they gorgeous?

They're perfect with a cup of tea. Or a glass of milk. Or straight off the baking sheet with nothing.

If you'd like your dad to make these for your mom, or if you'd like to bake them for your co-workers and save a stash for yourself, here's the .pdf.

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