Molasses Spice Cookies

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If you like crisp cookies and the flavor of molasses, these are the cookies for you.  As a bonus, the gluten-free version holds together wonderfully, and you get double the number you would using all-purpose flour!

 

Molasses Spice Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 48 gluten-free OR 24 normal cookies

  • 2 1/3 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose cookies
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch (small or not so small, depending on how much heat you want) of cracked or coarsely ground black pepper (all I had was regular ground black pepper, so I used that and it was fine)
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar OR 1 cup white sugar plus a dollop of molasses
  • 1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 large egg
  • About 1 cup sugar for rolling gluten-free cookies OR 1/2 cup for normal

 

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add brown sugar OR white sugar+dollop molasses, and the 1/2 cup molasses.  Beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add egg and beat for 1 minute.
  4. Beat in baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour.  (If using all-purpose flour, don’t overbeat the batter!  You can use a rubber spatula to stir in the last of the flour by hand.)  The dough will be very smooth and soft.
  6. If you have patience, 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 refrigerated for up to 4 days.)  If you skip this step, as I did, just be forewarned that the dough is very sticky and difficult to handle.  It still works; it’s just frustrating.
  7. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  8. Put sugar in a small bowl.
  9. If you took the time to chill the dough, work with one packet of dough at a time.  For gluten-free batter, shape it into 1-inch balls.  For batter with all-purpose flour, divide each dough packet into 12 equal pieces and roll the pieces into balls.
  10. One by one, roll the balls around in the bowl of sugar.
  11. Place on baking sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart.  (The gluten-free ones will spread into cookies 3 1/2 inches in diameter.)
  12. You can dip the bottom of a glass into the sugar and use it press down on the cookies until they are 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Alternatively, you can gently pat them down with your fingers.
  13. Bake cookies one sheet at a time for about 14 minutes if gluten free OR 12-14 minutes if not.  The tops feel set to the touch.
  14. Remove baking sheet from oven.  If the cookies are touching, use the edge of a metal spatula to separate them while they are still hot.  Leave gluten-free cookies on the sheet for 1-2 minutes so they harden.  Otherwise they’ll break when you try to move them.
  15. Transfer cookies to rack to cool to room temperature.
  16. Repeat with remaining dough.
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