‘Tis the season for chewy, gingery molasses cookies – and although I’ve had my own formula I’ve made for years, I couldn’t resist trying Kamran‘s recipe from his gorgeous brand new book, Hand Made Baking. They’re big (he uses lots of dough) and sparkly (on account of the turbinado sugar) and flat and chewy, which is, unlike chocolate chip cookies, how I like them.
Kam leaves his dough overnight to allow the flavours to develop – I generally don’t have the patience for this, but it works with soups and stews and such, so why not cookies? And it is somehow satisfying to have a bowl of cookie dough in the fridge, ready for baking.
Kam’s Molasses Spice Cookies
Excerpted from Hand Made Baking by Kamran Siddiqi, Copyright ©2014 by Kamran Siddiqi. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 cup turbinado or Demerara sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set this aside.
In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
On medium speed, beat in the egg and molasses until combined. Turn the speed to low and gradu- ally add the flour-spice mixture just until a dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or overnight.
Once the dough has chilled, arrange two racks in the upper third and center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl.
Evenly scoop 3 Tbsp of dough and form it into a round. Roll it in the turbinado sugar and put it on the baking sheet. Continue the scooping and rolling process, being sure to arrange the dough rounds 3 in/7.5 cm apart, as they do spread out a bit.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, for 13 to 17 minutes, until the cookies are fairly flat and their edges are just firm. Let them cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Because I am lazy when it comes to certain things, I like to make the dough a day ahead (which I believe helps the flavors mature a bit). And because I don’t like washing dishes, I like to wrap the dough in plastic wrap a few times and put it on a plate, as the dough is very soft at this point.
For smaller cookies: If you prefer smaller, crispier- edged cookies, scoop 1 Tbsp portions of dough instead of the directed 3 Tbsp; just bake them for 10 to 15 minutes.