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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add egg and beat for 1 minute.
- Beat in baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Put sugar in a small bowl.
- 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.
- One by one, roll the balls around in the bowl of sugar.
- Place on baking sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. (The gluten-free ones will spread into cookies 3 1/2 inches in diameter.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer cookies to rack to cool to room temperature.
- Repeat with remaining dough.