My favorite kind of cookie is sea salt chocolate chip, but at this time of year, it falls in the power rankings and takes second place behind ginger molasses cookies.
There’s something so reassuring about ginger molasses cookies. Maybe it’s the spice blend: The ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon are fragrant and warming. The cookies are like having a scented candle that you can eat, which sounds disgusting but could be good in theory.
Then, there’s the molasses. I hardly ever bake with molasses but it’s a very versatile ingredient that I should use more often. It’s hearty and substantial, which makes it perfect for winter baking. A word to the wise: Never try eating it straight off the spoon because it is not sweet. When it’s mixed into things with sugar, though, it’s wonderful.
My favorite part of these cookies besides the spices is the texture. I like cookies that are soft and chewy, and these fit the bill. They’re crispy around the edges and soft in the middle, like little cinnamon-spice pillows. You’ll know when they’re done because the centers puff up in the oven and they start to crack on top.
You don’t have to roll the cookies in sugar before you bake them but I’d *highly* recommend it. The sugar gives the cookie some extra sweetness and crunch. Plus, it reminds me of snow. Even though I generally hate the cold/winter, I love snow. It’s beautiful before it gets to the gray, dirt-streaked stage.
ANYWAY. Make these cookies as soon as possible. They’re delicious with a cup of tea and coffee, and they’re also perfect as a holiday gift or potluck item. It’s difficult to share them but I always make enough so I can keep a tin at home and then bring another into work.
Here’s a song that reminds me of these cookies. It’s from my playlist, “It’s That Time of Year,” which should just be “Last Christmas” on repeat but I’ve rounded it out with other tunes.
Ginger Molasses Cookies (adapted from Bon Appétit)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup robust-flavored (dark) molasses
¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
coarse sanding or raw sugar (for rolling)
Place racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl. In a stand mixing bowl (or another bowl), whisk the egg, melted butter, sugar, molasses, and brown sugar. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Scoop the dough out of the bowl a tablespoon at a time and roll in the sugar. If the dough is too moist or runny, put the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes until it’s firmed up a bit.
Place the balls of dough two inches apart on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, rotating once, or until the tops are puffed and cracked. Don’t leave them in too long because otherwise they’ll get hard and crispy.
Remove sheets from oven and allow to cool on wire racks. Enjoy!