2013 Holiday Cookie Line Up #1: Molasses Spice Cookies

I actually had time to spare on Thanksgiving before departure to the food fest. So what’s a foodie gal going to do but peruse recipes?

These Molasses Spice Cookies called to me during my perusal. I tried to ignore the call. I really didn’t need to make a mess in the kitchen again.

Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

I re-read the ingredient list. Yep, I had all the ingredients on hand.

I glanced at the clock. Yep, I had enough time.

I asked myself if I really wanted to mess up the kitchen again. Nope, but I decided to make these anyway. The lure of baking won.

And oh-my-gosh, I’m so glad I made these. So was everyone else, too, for the cookies didn’t last long. Definite keeper of a recipe.

Soft and chewy on the inside, almost fudgy-like. Crispy on the outside. A crackled surface with glitz from the sugar coating. Spicy with a hint of kick from the bit of pepper added to the ingredients. Deep molasses flavor.

Yep, so glad I made these. They earned the honor of first spot on the annual Holiday Cookie Line Up (see 2012 and 2011 if you want more recipes for holiday cookies).

Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

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Yield: 24 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 12 tbsp. ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup molasses, light or dark
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling dough balls in)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined.
  3. Using a mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter with brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Reduce speed to medium-low and add egg yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds.
  5. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowls with rubber spatula at least once.
  6. Reduce speed to lowest setting and add flour; mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give dough a final stir with rubber spatula to mix in any pockets of flour.
  7. Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a small bowl for rolling the dough balls in. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the soft dough and roll into 1 1/2-inch balls between palms of hands. Drop balls into sugar and completely coat, then place onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 minutes until cookies are browned, puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft. Don’t fret if the cookies look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.

Note: I refrigerated my dough balls while I cleaned up the kitchen, which hardened them a bit. I think had I rolled them in sugar first that more sugar would have adhered to them. When they came out of the oven, they seemed a bit sparse on the sugar coating, so I simply sprinkled a bit more on top right as they came out of the oven. 

SOURCE: Cooking.com via America’s Test Kitchen (is it any wonder these are so delicious considering they come from the folks at ATK!)

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