For me, the holidays are all about COOKIES. Each year, my father makes dozens of batches and places them in colorful tins that he then piles haphazardly on the kitchen counters and dining table. I always come home to find cookies everywhere, stacked nearly to the ceiling, waiting for me to nibble on. Some of my favorites are thumbprint, sugar, and oatmeal raisin, but I haven’t met a cookie I didn’t like.
My friend, Kate, made a batch of these molasses and ginger cookies for book club a few weeks ago. (Coincidentally, she paired it with The Tiger’s Wife which was a truly magical read that I highly recommend). I couldn’t stop eating them and knew I had to add them to my list of Christmas favorites.
These cookies are buttery soft with just a hit of spice. You could easily ramp up the ginger to add more bite. Kate also suggested adding different spices like garam masala or cardamom for a more exotic, spiced cookie. Yum.
Ingredients: (makes about 3 dozen cookies)
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened (try to use European style butter – higher butterfat content)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger (note- I added an additional tsp of fresh grated ginger, and you could experiment with crystallized ginger for more heat).
Directions: In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and molasses and beat until fully incorporated. It should come together in almost a thick, icing-like texture.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and combine with the butter-sugar-molasses mixture. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Shape dough into walnut-size balls (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter – one of those mini-ice cream scoopers works like magic). Place three inches apart on lined baking sheet.
For a bit of holiday sparkle, sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top of the cookies prior to baking. (press lightly into the dough so the sugar sticks)
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Take care to not over-bake.
This recipe is one of my favorites this year. But if ginger isn’t your thing, here are a few other cookie recipes you might like to try this holiday season.
Hope your holiday season includes lots of time in the kitchen, baking and laughing with the ones you love.
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