Another holiday season and cookies continue to frustrate and underwhelm me. Like why didn’t these bake up with a crinkle top as they were supposed to? Did I underbake them? (No.) Overbake them? (I don’t think so.) Scoop them too small? (Would that make a difference?) Bake them while the dough was too cold? Not flatten them enough? (Hate cookies.)
I don’t really mean that, hate is a strong word. It’s just that I continue to prefer every other type of dessert to cookies; but cookies are like a thing this time of year, and so I was doing my duty. These cookies are, in fact, Christmasy. They’ve got the requisite spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice) and a good amount of molasses and brown sugar. Their sweetness is pushed over the edge by being rolled in chunky sugar before baking, but you have to do it for the marvelous crunchy exterior it gives.
Whenever I’d make cookies in the past, I’d lament that there were so many cookies in the house now, and it took so long to bake so many sheets’ worth of cookies, but now what I do (duh), is scoop all the dough into balls and freeze most of them, just baking one or two trays’ worth the first day. This is what you do when you live in a two-person, one-dog household and never get invited to cookie exchanges. If I ever do get invited to a cookie exchange, though, I will make bar cookies or brownies.
A molasses bar cookie. With a crunchy sugar topping and a gooey center with maybe some crystallized ginger? Hmmmmm…next year.
“Momma! Stop writing about cookies and play the fetch game with me!”
Molasses Sugar Cookies, adapted from Food52
Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (preferably dark, but I used light)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- turbinado, demerara, or granulated sugar, for rolling
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and molasses, mixing to combine well. On the lowest speed or by hand, stir in the flour mixture. Refrigerate batter for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scoop dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (mine may have been a little smaller) and roll each ball in the sugar. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets, and flatten each ball slightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.