Molasses Spice Cookies

Moving on to the fifth installment of a series of posts about holiday baking. Here are links to one, two, three, and four.

I love any recipe that makes my house smell like Christmas, like the short bread cookies, and these do the trick. I don't think I liked molasses cookies when I was little, but I love them now.

These were soft and a little chewy. I spaced them a little close together, so they kind of melded together, but were easy to break apart again. Once again, the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook did exactly what I hoped. Also, this recipe can be made with light or brown molasses, which might save you from a special trip to the store.

I'm expecting to do at least one more post on these holiday cookies, since it wouldn't be Christmas without sugar cookies with colorful frosting, and I still want to try my hand at gingerbread. Hope you like them!

Molasses Spice Cookies

from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
12 tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup light or dark molasses

1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 F. Spread 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, pepper, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until combined. Beat in the molasses until combined, scraping down the bowl and beaters are needed.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined (the dough will be soft).

4. Using wet hands,* roll 2 tbs of dough at a time into balls, then roll int he sugar to coat and lay on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 2" apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and the tops are cracked but the centers are still soft and underdone, 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking.

*Keeping my hands wet turned out to be important. As soon as they would dry, the dough would stick to them and I couldn't make it into a ball. But keeping my hands wet made it work perfectly.

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