December 21, 2014

My Favorite Molasses Spice Cookies

Every once in a while, when you're really hungry, that plain old blue box mac & cheese can taste completely awesome. I'm sitting here blogging about fantastic homemade Christmas cookies while eating neon orange pasta, and happy as a clam. It's been a lovely Sunday, full of Christmas hymns and peaceful joy. We have been doubly blessed this Christmas season, both as a family and with opportunities to help others. Service adds an extra-special feeling of Christmas spirit, and I'm so glad my boys are old enough to feel it with us! I remember the first year we had them pick out toys to donate to a toy drive, and it was a disaster. They could not comprehend why they didn't get to keep the presents they picked out!! Now they have as much fun with it as we do, picking exactly what they would want, to give to some other lucky boy. Love it!! I have yet another batch of this cookie dough chilling in the fridge, Christmas music playing, boys napping, clouds rolling in, and I think I'll go join the napping trend. Tonight we'll watch White Christmas and start the relaxing part of our Christmas week!

My Favorite Molasses Spice Cookies (adapted from Fork Knife Swoon)
Printable Recipe

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, spices, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside

Cream the sugars and butter together until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and molasses and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.

Turn your mixer speed down to low and start adding the dry ingredients, about a half a cup at a time, waiting until fully combined after each addition. This will help you not end up with a handful of dry crumbly bits at the bottom of your bowl. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but if you're patient enough, it's best chilled overnight.

Once chilled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. take your dough out and roll into 1-1 1/2 inch balls. Rolls the balls of dough in sugar then place them on lined/greased cookie sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes. When the cookies come out they should look puffed and rounded, and will settle a bit and show those pretty little cracks. They may look a bit raw, but you want them that way so they'll stay soft!

Remove from the oven and set your pan on a cooling rack. Let cool on the pan at least 5 minutes, if you try to remove them straight out of the oven they'll be too soft! You can let them cool completely on the pan, or transfer them to the cooling rack after they've set a bit. Store in an airtight container.
Okay, so I said those sugar cookies were my favorite Christmas treat, and if we're talking exclusively Christmas, they are. But these are my favorite cookies in the whole wide world. If you offered me a sugar cookie and one of these, I'd pick these. I posted a recipe last year which was my favorite recipe then, but this one is better.
That tablespoon of cocoa powder is the most amazing secret ingredient!! They don't make the cookies taste chocolatey at all, but they give extra depth to all that gingerbready goodness, all that brown sugar and molasses and scrumptious spices... YUM!!
Chill that dough long enough, and they'll stay thick and soft and chewy for days and days! And boy, will I eat them for days and days. Even the chocoholic Geologist and picky little Joe love these! I take them everywhere and bake them for everything because they're too fantastic not to share!

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