I never used to be a big fan of molasses or gingerbread or anything with similar flavors. As years have gone by though my taste buds have matured and I have realized just exactly what I was missing for so long. For the last three years I have baked these sugar topped molasses spice cookies every Thanksgiving. Every time I make them they are a huge hit. Never fails.
I first made this with the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group back in 2009. I learned a lot from that group in my early blogging days, and one of the things I learned was to step outside of my baking comfort zone.
I think what I like best about these cookies is how they are soft and chewy, not hard and crunchy. They are full of flavor yet not overpowering.
If you read my blog you know that I live in a rural community and I have to drive a minimum of 30 minutes to get to an affordable grocery store. I have the local grocer in town, but their prices are through the roof, so I try not to make a habit of shopping there. Well luck would have it that in the past year a Dollar General was built right here in town, giving the local grocer a real run for their money! I can go to Dollar General and buy many of the things I would pick up at Walmart without the long drive and for comparable prices.
You’ll find the recipe for these delicious cookies below, but here’s the basic run down. After you mix up the dough you’ll need to chill it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. You can store it in the fridge for up to four days. Then you’ll roll it into balls, roll those balls in sugar, and flatten them with a drinking glass. Bake, cool, enjoy!
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- pinch cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup sugar, for rolling
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and pepper.
- Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, 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 over-beating 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.)
- 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 ¼ and ½ 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.