Saturday, July 30, 2016

Molasses Spice Cookies

Last weekend, my hubby and I tried a new restaurant in Raleigh for brunch; it was wonderful.  Irregardless is located in the downtown area, but nestled in more a residential setting rather than a business site.  When we first sat down, they brought us freshly squeezed orange juice and a basket of homemade breads--biscuits to a spiced pumpkin bread.  We both reached for the biscuits first, but after I had finished most of my meal, I broke off a piece of the thinly sliced pumpkin bread and literally couldn't stop eating it!  Really, how embarrassing, I ate 3 thin slices which I decided equaled the size of a slab of bread I'd normally have:-D I love those flavors and it made me realize how much I look forward to autumn so I can bake using them.  However, I thought, why should I wait and decided to bake a cookie today that I know my hubby loves just as much as I do...and, since I'm traveling to Colorado tomorrow, I can take a gift bag with some cookies that I know my friends will love too.

Molasses cookies, with their cracked exterior counterbalancing the uncommonly moist, soft and chewy texture comes from using butter, not shortening and adding an egg yolk rather than a whole egg for tenderness.  When using molasses, it's important to balance that assertive flavor with strong spices--cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice.  Additionally, I added ground white pepper since I sometimes do that in my gingerbread.  Rolling the balls of dough in Sanding Sugar gives the finished cookies a sweet crunchy coating.

Molasses Spiced Cookies
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup light or dark molasses
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375F-degree.  Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.  Place 1/2 cup of Sanding Sugar in a shallow dish and set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the molasses, vanilla and egg yolk and increase speed to medium to beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds.  Whisk the flour, baking soda, and spices together.  On low speed, add the flour mixture; beat until just incorporated.
The dough will seem a little sticky, but don't add more flour.  Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure there are not "pockets" of flour remaining.

Use a tablespoon-size scoop and drop into the Sanding Sugar.  Roll the ball into the sugar to coat.  Space balls about 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-11 minutes until browned, still puffy, and have begun to set, but the centers are still soft.  Do not over bake!
 Remove from the oven and let cookies set on the sheet for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature before serving (or storing!)

Needless to say, my kitchen smelled like autumn was around the corner even though it's 96F degrees here today.  Enjoy! 


  1. I look forward to autumn too! These spiced cookies remind me of holidays and happiness.

    1. Maybe that's why I love them too--remembering the happy times with holidays!

  2. Sounds like you had a nice brunch! I am looking forward to the fall also, and some delicious pumpkin recipes! Your spice cookies look scrumptious too!

  3. I agree, why wait for autumn. The cookies look so delicious.

  4. I like pumpkin, too. pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins and more. these cookies sound wonderful. question: you leave the cookie dough in balls to cook? you don't press them into discs?
    stamping sue