Before we jump into the obvious recap of our Thailand trip or the latest Gray wedding updates, I wanted to talk about COOKIES. As it happens, cookies = my sanity right now. You know it’s year of the wedding around these parts. A wedding means a beautiful dress, tons of pictures and a romantic honeymoon, so I’ve come to an agreement with myself that an upgraded workout and healthy eating regimen is necessary. It honestly hasn’t been too bad so far! I’ve been trying to eat 2x more vegetables and focus on more protein and less carbs, as well sticking to 25 minutes to one hour workouts 5 days a week. Yeah, not too bad… Except that / maybe because I’ve still been eating COOKIES… practically every night, just one or two (and sometimes three, just when there’s a snowstorm outside and the evening calls for comfort food).
Our cookie of choice has been chocolate chip (these!!! minus the pecans + toasting the oats, and portioned in balls half the size). I shamelessly made the dough as part of meal prep two weeks ago and have stowed it in the freezer for baking on-demand. These GIANT! soft and chewy molasses ginger cookies, HOWEVER, are very, very good as well…
I made them in early December, when taking a break from packing and stressing to embrace the holiday cheer. The one thing I dislike about traveling over Christmas? I deeply miss the traditions… and general *spirit* of the season. We boarded a plane and went away; two weeks later we came back and I still expected Christmas to come! Obviously, though, we had missed it. We still were with family and had a nice dinner out in Thailand, but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas when you’re surrounded by mountains in an Asian city with 80 degree weather.
I was surprised by these cookies because 1) I had really high expectations and desires for a chewy ginger spice cookie, 2) I used a Martha Stewart recipe and I can’t really recall the last time I used one from her site. These cookies, though, were just what I wanted and MORE (since, well, they are huge!). I immediately loved their appearance when I pulled them out of the oven: crackly all over and a covered with a dusting of sugar snow—you sprinkle the leftover sugar for rolling over the cookies before baking. The texture is soft and so, so chewy. The flavor is warm, deep and (not too) spicy. Oh molasses! I wish more recipes used it!
While I typically think of molasses ginger cookies as a *Christmas* thing, I think these are wonderful all winter long. They would be perfect with some orange scented tea for an afternoon snack (look at me trying to convert everyone to the cookie diet!!!). Also: Great for Valentines Day (“warm, deep and spicy”? watch out!). Or just stow the recipe on your pin board for next year’s cookie swap. These certainly are staying on mine!
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 2¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper (optional -- did not use)
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling dough in
- 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) molasses
- 1 egg, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet(s) with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and allspice (and pepper if using).
- In the bowl of a standing mixer (or using an electric mixer), beat together butter, brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Next, beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined.
- Gather the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Place remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Remove dough from freezer and divide disk into twelve 2-inch balls (giant!). Roll balls in sugar and place at least 4 inches apart on prepared baking sheet(s). Flatten into 3-inch rounds (using a pint glass, etc). Sprinkle with the leftover sugar in bowl.
- Bake in batches until brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 3 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooking.