Ginger Molasses Cookie
By Joanne Chang, Pastry Chef/Owner of Flour Bakery in Boston, MA
Makes 16 cookies
One of my bakers said to me recently, “You don’t like spices do you?” as we were talking about our favorite gingerbread and spice cake recipes. I hastened to correct her because I absolutely love spices in baking – who can resist the charms of spicy ground ginger, warm and sweet cinnamon, sharp bright mace, festive nutmeg? What I don’t like is when baked goods are strongly smothered in spices to the point of non-recognition – is this an apple pie I’m eating …or a cinnamon pie that happens to be laced with apples? Is this a warm moist spicy piece of buttery gingerbread…or an overpowering hunk of ground ginger in cake form? Subtlety is key. Let the spices play modestly in the background doing what they do best, making your baked goods irresistible and not overwhelming.
In this recipe there is just enough ginger, cinnamon, and clove to bring out the best in this chewy rich molasses-y cookie. It’s full of flavor and it’s definitely a spice cookie, but you’ll notice immediately that you can taste the butter and the sugar and the warm spices together without any one jockeying in position over the other. It’s one of the easiest cookies to put together too. It’s bound to be a favorite.
12 tablespoons (6 ounces; 168 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (220 grams) tightly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup (85 grams) molasses
2 cups (288 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
small bowl of sugar for tossing cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position rack in center of the oven.
Melt butter in a small saucepan and let cool for at least 30 minutes or until warm, not hot, to the touch. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg and mix for about 20 seconds until well mixed. Stir together the flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, clove and salt and fold this into the butter/sugar mixture by hand until well mixed.
Scoop out ¼ cup balls of dough and place them one by one in a bowl of sugar and gently toss to coat on all sides. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 16-18 minutes until the cookies are crackly on top and just barely firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 20-30 minutes; slide cookies off of sheet with a metal spatula and continue to cool on a rack. Cookies may be stored for up to 2 days in an airtight container; the dough may be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.