Recently I've seen a few good recipes calling for molasses, which is something I've not yet worked with. Unfortunately I couldn't find it at my normal grocery store, but a trip to another store last weekend was successful! I turned to all my recipe sources (excel spreadsheet, Google Reader, bookmarks), and found Katie's pictures of molasses spice cookies. All it took was one look! I couldn't resist. I had to make them.
Oh my goodness. I can see why these would be a fall favorite. They smell fantastic while baking up! They were pretty easy to throw together, though rolling them up is more time consuming than a regular scoop'n'go cookie recipe. I disliked that I could only bake one sheet at a time, especially as I happened to make a double batch of these. It took quite a while to get them all done. In the end, the taste and texture made it all worth it. Perfectly crisp outside, encasing a perfectly soft interior. And how can you resist the crackled top?! Delicious.
Now, eat up!
Molasses Spice Cookies
Source: Baking Illustrated, seen on Good Things Catered
2 1/4 cup (11 1/4 ounces) lower-protein unbleached all-purpose flour (like Gold Medal or Pillsbury)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar, plus 1/2 c. for rolling
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup molasses
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
2. Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.
3. Either by hand or with electric mixer, beat the butter with brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 min.) Reduce speed to medium low and add yolk and vanilla, increase speed and beat until incorporated (about 20 seconds). Reduce speed and add molasses beat until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping the bottom and sides once with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to lowest setting and add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, scraping the bowl once. Give the dough a final stir by hand to ensure no flour pockets at bottom. The dough will be soft.
4. Place 1/2 cup sugar in shallow bowl for rolling. Fill small bowl with cold tap water. Dip hands in water and roll heaping tablespoon of dough into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 in ball; drop ball in sugar and roll to coat. Set on prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
5. Bake,ONE sheet at a time, until the cookies are browned, still puffy, and the edges have begun to set, but the centers are still soft (the cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes. Do not over-bake.
6. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack; cool the cookies to room temperature.