Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

I've been trying to make as many desserts from this cookbook I borrowed from my boss before I have to give it back - but hopefully Santa will return it to me for future baking :)

This past week I made the sugar-topped molasses spice cookies, mainly because they looked delicious, seemed easy, and I had extra molasses in the cabinet from the Bohemian wedding cake I made a few weeks ago.

I highly recommend these cookies for anyone who likes a cookie with a kick. I was intrigued by the use of pepper in them, which I've never used in a cookie before, but an a big fan of now! These cookies are almost like a gingerbread cookie, only more crunchy and spicy. They're great for dunking in milk or with a giant mug of hot cocoa. Ohhhh winter....

Before I give the recipe though, I want to give all you wonderful bakers out there that might actually make these cookies a few tips.

1) Last minute, I realized I didn't have allspice, so handy-dandy Google allowed me to look up a substitute (which I use a lot when I don't have a certain ingredient on hand). Instead of allspice, I used a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

2) Freeze the dough for as long as possible, and work quickly when you take it out. I found that the warmer the dough and my hands got, the more easily the dough stuck to the palms of my hands.

3) Don't flatten them too thin; they spread while baking. My cookies came out a bit too crunchy (but keeping them in an air-tight container keeps them soft, so if this happens to you, stick them in a container and keep a lid on it).

4) The recipe says to use the bottom of a glass to flatten them. This works if you have a glass with a big enough bottom, but unfortunately the bottom of my drinking glasses were tiny. So I used the bottom of my plastic measuring cup. I recommend glass because it sticks less, but if you have to use plastic, make sure you have enough sugar on the bottom to keep from sticking.

There you have it, a few minor problems I ran into, but hopefully none of you will! These cookies are reallly easy to make and so yummy. Enjoy!!

Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg
1/2 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 1/4 and 1/2 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.Yield: about 24 fairly large cookies (I got a few more)

Storage: The cookies will keep for at least 1 week in the cookie jar. Wrapped airtight, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

1 comment:

  1. Despite the "mistakes", these cookies came out excellent. I have one with my coffee every morning :)