Monday, December 19, 2016

Chewy & Gooey Molasses Ginger Cookies

If there aren't at least 12 kinds of cookies on your dessert platter this Christmas, then you might be doing it wrong. That's totally subjective and you can rightfully roll your eyes right now. BUT, this is one of the things that I need to make Christmas feel exactly like Christmas...

It's a cookie buffet, unnecessary any other time of year but entirely appropriate right now!

These Chewy & Gooey Molasses Ginger Cookies must be one of them - crisp on the outside, chewy gooey in the middle, cratered with cracks and crevices. Plus it is easy as ever. This is a perfect cookie.

You might also want to include:

The scent of ginger, cinnamon and molasses  in the air will sing Christmas all day long in your kitchen. It is inviting enough that your guests won't even notice the fact that you forgot to serve the gravy or your turkey was maybe a bit on the edge of National Lampoons. None of that matters when these cookies shimmer on the dessert table. All eyes will be on them.

The recipe is similar to one of a good Chocolate Chip Cookie. It starts with creaming butter and brown sugar - a happy beginning. One egg into the mix.

Now it gets Christmassy - 1/3 cup of fancy molasses. Fancy molasses is the lightest and sweetest of all the molasses's. Do not use "dark", "cooking", or "blackstrap" molasses here or the cookies will be very different. They will be dark and more bitter and they will spread more. Not a bad thing, but just not like the pictures you see here.

The other difference between these and CCC's is that we use almost twice the amount of baking soda. That is because molasses is very acidic and can react thoroughly with it to spread these babies out to thin rounds.

It's almost a miracle that these cookies can be so thin yet still pull off the "crisp-on-the-outside-soft-in-the-middle" thang. Yeah, they've got it goin' on.

Chewy & Gooey Molasses Ginger Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies

2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (220g) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80ml/110g) fancy molasses
2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg, and then add molasses and beat until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just blended.

Cover dough in the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. 

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop up heaped tablespoonfuls of chilled dough and roll into smooth balls. Place onto prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are evenly browned and cracked at the surface. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheets for 2 minutes before transferring individually to the racks to finish cooling.
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