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Molasses Cookies Tested Recipe

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Molasses Cookies Recipe

Molasses Cookies may be a year round favorite, but they are especially popular during the Holiday season. This highly addictive, sugar coated cookie has a nice combination of dark brown sugar and molasses which pairs perfectly with ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves. They have a rich spicy flavor and a soft and chewy texture that causes my kids to eat them by the handfuls. 

 

As their name implies, molasses is the key ingredient in Molasses Cookies. Molasses is a thick dark sticky syrup with a robust flavor. It is what turns these cookies a lovely dark ginger brown color, adds to their sweet flavor, and gives them a texture that is moist and soft. There are two types of molasses used in baking; light and dark. The light molasses is what we are using here and comes from pure unprocessed sugar cane juice that has been clarified and reduced with no sugar extracted. My favorite brand is Grandma's Original Molasses (Gold Standard) which is found in most grocery stores. Light molasses is usually labeled as "sulphured" or "unsulphured" depending on whether sulphur was used in the processing. I prefer the unsulphured molasses which is lighter in color and tends to have a nicer flavor. To prevent the molasses from sticking to your cup, always lightly grease before measuring.

Besides molasses, these Molasses Cookies are fragrant with ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. All these spices have aromas that are warm and fragrant, yet each has its own distinctive flavor. Ground cinnamon is described accurately in Jill Norman excellent book "Herbs & Spices", "a warm, agreeably sweet, woody aroma that is delicate yet intense; the taste is fragrant and warm with hints of clove and citrus". Ground ginger could be described as peppery with a subtle lemon flavor and ground cloves are wonderfully rich and spicy. Since ground spices have a fairly short shelf life it is best to buy in small quantities from a bulk food store that has a high turnover. The added advantage of buying them this way is that they are a lot cheaper than buying those small glass bottles from your local grocery store. Always store your spices in a cool dry place, away from heat (it is not a good idea to store them by the stove).

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Molasses Cookies: In a large bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture mixture until well incorporated. Cover and chill the batter until firm (about 2 hours or overnight).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Place about 1 cup (200 grams) of white granulated sugar in a medium sized bowl. When the dough has chilled sufficiently, roll into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Then roll the balls of dough into the sugar, coating them thoroughly. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart and, with the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for about 9 - 10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crinkles yet are barely dry. (They will look a little underdone.) Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

References:

Green, Aliza. 'Starting with Ingredients Baking'. Running Press. Philadelphia: 2008.

Lawson, Jane. 'The Spice Bible.' Stewart, Tabori & Chang. New York: 2008.

Norman, Jill. 'Herbs & Spices." DK Publishing, Inc. New York: 2002

The Best of Fine Cooking 'Cookies' Magazine.

Molasses Cookies:

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1  teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (210 grams) dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or safflower oil

1/3 cup (80 ml) unsulphured molasses (lightly grease measuring cup to prevent the molasses from sticking)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish:

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar for covering the cookie balls before baking

 
 
     
 

 

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