2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons (20 grams) vegetable, canola, corn, or safflower oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) (100 grams) unsulphured molasses (to prevent the molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, lightly oil (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
Molasses Cookies: In a large bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined. Cover and refrigerate the batter until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place about 1/2 cup (100 grams) of granulated white sugar in a medium sized bowl. When the batter is firm, roll into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls (use about 20 grams of batter for each cookie). Then roll the balls of dough into the sugar, coating them thoroughly. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, with the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for about 9 - 10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crinkles yet are barely dry (the longer you bake the cookies the more crisp they will be). Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or they can be frozen.
Makes about 36 - 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) cookies.
Molasses Cookies are a year round favorite, but they are especially popular during the Holiday season. This highly addictive, sugar coated cookie has a nice combination of dark brown sugar and molasses which pairs perfectly with ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves. They have a rich spicy flavor and a soft and chewy texture that causes my kids to eat them by the handfuls.
As their name implies, molasses is the key ingredient in Molasses Cookies. Molasses is a thick, dark, sticky syrup with a robust flavor. It is what turns these cookies a lovely dark ginger brown color, adds to their sweet flavor, and gives them a texture that is moist and soft. There are two types of molasses used in baking; light and dark. The light molasses is what we are using here and comes from pure unprocessed sugar cane juice that has been clarified and reduced with no sugar extracted. My favorite brand is Grandma's Original Molasses (Gold Standard) which is found in most grocery stores. Light molasses is usually labeled as "sulphured" or "unsulphured" depending on whether sulphur was used in the processing. I prefer the unsulphured molasses which is lighter in color and tends to have a nicer flavor. To prevent the molasses from sticking to your cup, always lightly oil or spray the inside of your measuring cup with a non stick vegetable spray before measuring.
Besides molasses, these Molasses Cookies are fragrant with ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. All these spices have aromas that are warm and fragrant, yet each has its own distinctive flavor. Ground cinnamon is described accurately in Jill Norman excellent book "Herbs & Spices", "a warm, agreeably sweet, woody aroma that is delicate yet intense; the taste is fragrant and warm with hints of clove and citrus". Ground ginger could be described as peppery with a subtle lemon flavor and ground cloves are wonderfully rich and spicy. Since ground spices have a fairly short shelf life it is best to buy in small quantities from a bulk food store that has a high turnover. The added advantage of buying them this way is that they are a lot cheaper than buying those small glass bottles from your local grocery store. Always store your spices in a cool dry place, away from heat (it is not a good idea to store them by the stove).