I have made these cookies three times in less than three weeks. It may have something to do with how easy they are to make–they are a strictly two bowls and five minutes ordeal. But, more likely, it has to do with ease and flavor, and how these cookies sit perfectly on the intersection of the two. I daresay, if we add a third element–accessibility of ingredients–these cookies would still rest perfectly at the nexus of all three factors.
Not to add more elements than necessary, but I must also point out how malleable these cookies are. Don’t have enough brown sugar? Add some white. Not enough cinnamon? Put in nutmeg and some more ginger. Basically, do whatever you want. As long as your dough ends up somewhat sticky and the taste is to your liking, the finished product should be just as good. And I probably don’t even have to tell you about how many variations you can make on the dusting that the cookie dough gets rolled in before it is baked, or baking time (12 minutes for soft and chewy, 15 or more for ginger crisps). Whatever you want out of a cookie, chances are this recipe can deliver!
Ginger Molasses Cookies
Adapted from Flour
Makes about 32 cookies
For the dough:
1 2/3 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 cup mine 2 tablespoons brown sugar (I like to use a mix of light and dark.)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 heaping teaspoon ground cloves
For the dusting:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Put the butter, sugar, molasses, and egg in a stand-mixer and mix on medium until combined (about 1 minute). In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and spices, and mix until spices are evenly distributed. Pour the flour mixture into the stand mixer, and mix on low and then medium until combined (about 2 minutes). Once the dough has come together, pull it into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare the dusting by mixing all of the ingredients together with a whisk.
Once you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, roll the cookie dough into balls about the size of ping pong balls or slightly smaller. Roll each ball in the dusting, and space about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes. The cookies should be slightly cracked, but beware: do not over-bake if you want them to retain any chewiness!
These can be kept in an airtight container for up to two days, though they will quickly become more crisp. That is not such a bad thing, since they are delicious when dunked in coffee.