There are certain flavors that scream fall. Pumpkin. Cranberry. Molasses. Apple. Gingerbread. I like some more than others. I’m sure that’s true for just about everybody. And I don’t mind trying new things to see if there are combinations that will appeal to me.
When I was a kid, I recall eating these rock hard ginger cookies. Gingersnaps I think they were called. I really liked them when I was younger, but they just don’t appeal to me now. I wanted something that still has that distinctive ginger flavor without breaking my teeth. (Oh to be young and not worry about breaking a tooth on a cookie!)
These cookies keep the spirit of the gingersnap cookie without the peril of a visit to the dentist. If the ginger flavors scares you in these, then just reduce the amount. But why not live dangerously and see if you can handle the heat?!
Also, it’s important to note that you need full flavored molasses here, not blackstrap. Blackstrap has been boiled down even more and the result is a thick, sludgy, bitter mess that you don’t want in your baked goods.
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- 2 1/2 cups | 12.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch cayenne
- 1 1/4 cups | 8.75 ounces brown sugar
- 1/4 cup full flavor molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 large egg, plus one yolk
- decorator’s sugar
- In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking butter until it just begins to brown. Make sure to swirl butter so it does not burn. Process takes 2-4 minutes. Transfer butter to large bowl and whisk in ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, pepper, and cayenne. Cool for a couple minutes.
- Add the brown sugar and molasses to butter mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in egg and egg yolk.
- Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour until firm. You can refrigerate over night – just remove dough about an hour before you shape and bake the cookies.
- Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two rimmed cookie sheets with silpat and set aside. Place about 1/2 cup decorator’s sugar into a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls and coat with decorator’s sugar. Bake one tray for 15 minutes. While the first batch is baking, roll a second batch of dough balls and place on prepared cookie sheet.
- After 15 minutes, rotate sheet and continue baking an additional 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be puffy and look set. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container.
It’s important to note this recipe calls for “full flavor” molasses, as opposed to “blackstrap”, which has been boiled down more and is bitter.