You know that one cookie that can send your diet spinning right out of the mixing bowl? It has slightly crisp edges, a chewy center, and it can be stocked and stacked high in the cookie jar without breaking. It’s one tough cookie, made for sharing — that is, if you have any left to share.
The molasses cookie might be the most quietly loved cookie in the land. Rarely will anyone mention it as a favorite, but even more rare is the person who doesn’t light up when presented with one of these dark and delicious, round pieces of nostalgia.
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour (I like King Auther)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (pungent Vietnamese cinnamon is a nice touch if you can find it!)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 sticks salted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- An extra 1/2 cup white sugar, for rolling the cookies in before baking
Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients in this order: Beat the butter at medium speed (in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer) until it’s smooth, careful not to overdo it. Beat in the brown sugar and molasses and mix for about 2 more minutes. Add the egg and beat for additional 1 minute. With your mixer on low speed, carefully mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure thoroughly mixed. The dough will be very soft.
Divide the dough evenly into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper. Chill for one hour, or speed up the process with 30 minutes in the freezer instead. Dough can keep up to 4 days.
Bake on oven’s center rack. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Put 1/2 cup white sugar in a small bowl. Pull off chunks of dough, roll into a ball and then toss around in the sugar bowl until covered. Recipe makes about 2-28 cookies, so each half should give you about 12-14. Place dough pieces on cookie sheet. Press each one flat with the bottom of a glass. Give each cookie room to spread in the oven.
Bake for 11-14 minutes. Cookies should be molasses brown with light cracks at the top and still a bit of give in the center. They’ll firm up a bit more once cool.