Dorie Greenspan has been my hero ever since I had one bite of a World Peace Cookie, possibly the best chocolate cookie in the world.
I am also a big fan of her carrot cake.
So, when my winter cravings turned to molasses and ginger, I looked through the pages of her giant Baking book until I found a recipe with that combination. (Pouring through this book is a lovely, yet dangerous way to spend a Saturday afternoon.)
These molasses spice cookies, though a little fussy in the preparation, did not disappoint. I resented having to mash out each cookie with a glass, but next time I will take a little more time and mash them even thinner.
I so love the delicate, spicy crunch of a molasses ginger cookie.
Also, when I was shopping with my sister at a restaurant store, I could not resist buying the most ridiculously large jug of molasses. (SUCH a good deal!) So I will be making these many more times.
I’m sure you’ve already guessed that these are also divine with coffee or tea.
Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
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 used 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg
about 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and pepper.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for 2 minutes or so to blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour and spices disappear. If some flour remains in the bottom of the bowl, to avoid overbeating the dough, mix in the last of the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. You’ll have a smooth, very soft dough.
Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The dough can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
Getting Ready to Bake:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Put the sugar in a small bowl. Working with one packet of dough at a time, divide it into 12 pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball between your palms. One by one, roll the balls around in the bowl of sugar , then place them on one of the baking sheets. Dip the bottom of a glass into the sugar and use it to press down on the cookies until they are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the tops feel set to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, if the cookies have spread and are touching, use the edge of a metal spatula to separate them while they are still hot. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
The cookies will keep for at least 1 week in the cookie jar. Wrapped airtight, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.