I made these Molasses Spice Cookies for a Christmas party two years ago and many friends said they reminded them of their childhood. Then I brought some over to my mother-in-law on Sunday and she responded said something very similar. It's like a good old-fashioned, mom's home-baked cookies. Whether you grew up eating molasses cookies or not, there is just something about this cookie that brings you back, that seems so old- fashioned and extremely comforting. The recipes says to roll in sugar, I had some red decorating sugar on hand that I rolled mine in for an extra christmas effect.
Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies
(Cook's Illustrated Feb 2002)
Makes about 22 cookies.
Measure the molasses in a liquid measuring cup. If you find that the dough sticks to your palms as you shape the balls, moisten your hands occasionally in a bowl filled with cold water and shake off the excess. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time. If baked two sheets at a time, the cookies started on the bottom rack won't develop the attractive cracks. The cookies should look slightly raw and under-baked when removed from the oven.
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for dipping
2 1/4 cups unbleached 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 finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (6 oz) light or dark molasses
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup sugar for dipping in a small bowl.
2. Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.
3. In standing 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 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.
4. Using tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll between palms into 1 1/2 inch ball; drop ball into cake pan with sugar and repeat to form about 4 balls. Toss balls in sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them 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 over-bake.
5. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack; cool cookies to room temperature and serve. (Can be stored at room temperature in airtight container or sipper-lock plastic bag up to 5 days.)