Molasses Ginger Cookies

These are one of my favorite types of cookies – chewy-soft and melt-in-your-mouth. I received a mixed batch of cookies from a friend for Christmas and these were included. I know they’re simple but oh my, they are my absolute favorite. Yum! Of course I had to ask for the recipe after he gave me the cookies 😀

What can I say? Sometimes you can’t beat a classic. I tend to create smaller-than-teaspoon sized balls for my cookies as I like knowing I can have just one (or two or three…) and not feel super guilty.

Molasses Ginger Cookies

Adapted from Betty Crocker. Yields about 4 – 6 dozen, depending on cookie size.

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (original recipe calls for shortening, which I don’t like; use what you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Granulated sugar, for coating cookies, in a small mixing bowl

Method:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease. Place a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat brown sugar, butter, molasses, and egg, until well combined.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, spices, and salt until incorporated.
  4. Roll dough in teaspoon-sized balls (or smaller, if you want mini cookies). Roll the balls in granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet, about 2-3 inches apart (depending on the size of your cookie balls).
  5. Bake for 8-12 minutes (less time for smaller and/or softer cookies and more for larger and/or chewier cookies), until just set in the middle.
  6. Immediately remove from baking sheet to cooling rack.

Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingersnaps)

No that’s not a giant cookie, it’s a mini espresso cup! The cookies are only about 2″ across. This is my second attempt at new Christmas cookie recipes for the year. I think they turned out great and I got top props from Hermit – he couldn’t stop eating them :D.

One day while I was at work – bored out of my mind – I stumbled across a Scandinavian cookie baking class. While I recognized the value of the class, I didn’t think it would be worth $75 for me to attend. Instead, I took note of some of the unfamiliar cookies and utilized Sir Google to help me out. While searching for Pepparkakor, I stumbled upon the blog Anne’s Food, a cooking/baking blog from Anne, who lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

I know you can buy these cookies at Ikea and they’re good – I’ve tried them. But I wanted to see if I could duplicate the crisp, semi-spicy, sweetness of these cookies.

The recipe I found was for “at least 10 dozen cookies” – which was way too much for my first batch. So, I broke out the kitchen scale – everything was in grams instead of cups, etc. – which is always fun to measure sugar and flour, etc.

Pepparkakor, adapted from Anne’s Food

Printable Recipe

This dough should sit in the fridge at least overnight – if not for a week or more – to age the spices in the dough. For this recipe, I let half the dough sit for 24 hours and the rest for a week, as a test.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies (halved from original recipe)

  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. baking soda
  • 11 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 grams white sugar (~ a little less than 2/3 cups)
  • 75 grams brown sugar (~ 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp.)
  • 1/2 small egg (~2 tbsp. mixed egg)
  • the zest of half a lemon (~ 1 1/2 tbsp.)
  • 150 ml light molasses (~5 liquid oz.)
  • 150 ml heavy cream (~5 liquid oz.)
  • 550 grams all-purpose flour (~ 4 1/3 cups, sifted + about 1 tbsp.)

Day One:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the spices, salt, and baking soda. In medium bowl, measure out flour, add spice mixture, and whisk together.

   

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and well mixed. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

   

3. Add the lemon zest, molasses, and cream to the butter mixture and beat until well combined.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. The dough will be fairly sticky at this point.

   

5. Divide the dough evenly into 4 parts. Create disk shapes and wrap well in wax paper. Chill at least overnight or up to a week or two, to age the spices.

Day Two:

As with all traditional recipes for gingersnaps, you can roll out the dough (with either lots of flour or between 2 sheets of parchment or waxed paper) and use cookie cutters to create your shapes. Or, if you’re like me, and you suck at rolling cookies and feel like tearing your hair out at the thought, you can easily make circular cookies this way.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator at a time. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease well.

2. Using a 1 tsp. measuring spoon – or eyeballing it – cut off a chunk of dough. You want the cookies to be almost the same size as each other and the same thickness so they all bake evenly and none are burnt before the others are done.

   

3. You can do this one cookie at a time or you can measure out your cookies/dough balls all at once. The cookies should be about 1- to 1 1/2″ apart on the tray; the dough balls should be placed ~ 2″ apart.

4. Place the dough on the cookie tray, lay a piece of waxed or parchment paper over the dough, and press down firmly with a flat bottomed glass or other implement. You want to make sure and press evenly on all sides of the glass so your cookie is the same thickness throughout. Press down until the cookie is about 1/8″ thick.

   

5. Bake in the oven for 6 – 7 minutes. Mine were done right around 6 1/2 minutes. You don’t want the bottom to start browning or the cookies take on more of a burnt taste.

6. They’ll be a little soft when you remove them from the oven. Let the cookies cool on the tray for 30 seconds or so and then transfer to a rack. This is where parchment paper is wonderful – you can just (carefully) move the entire piece of parchment to a cooling rack and don’t have to worry about ruining your cookie shapes by using a spatula.

Also, these made a great base for a gingersnap crust. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the end result – Banana Cream Pie. *sadface*