Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chewy Molasses Cookies


Oh they're good.  Any time of year--not just Christmas in July--good.



Just as the name suggests, they are chewy with a little bit of ginger spice.  Look at the sugar crystals on top.

Delicious.

Really want to turn them into a summer treat?  Use them in ice cream!  (A teaser for my next post!)

or just eat them plain!

But first you have to make them.  and I'll help you with that.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 60-90 minutes (dough chill time included)

Again, this yummy recipe was pulled from Erin's book:


This time, I followed the recipe exactly.  I'll share some of my baking tips as we go through this, however.

Recipe at the end of this post.

First, gather your ingredients: 
Flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, veggie shortening, butter, light brown sugar, molasses, 1 egg, and white sugar for dipping


Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
*Baking tip*
Many bakers use too much flour because they take their measuring cups and scoop it into the flour container.  This packs the flour and can add more than you want/need.  I use a spoon to pour into my measuring cups, level it off, then add it to my mixing bowls.



Beat shortening and butter with paddle mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.  This picture is what I deem "smooth."



Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Again, I consider this to fit those qualifications.
*Baking tip* 
Don't forget to use your spatula to occasionally scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl and make sure it all gets incorporated.  (See my spatula in the pic above?)

Pour in molasses and beat until smooth.  Mix in egg, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  (It's awfully nice of the recipe to remind you to scrape your bowl at this point.  This is in case you don't follow my baking tips and do it on your own anyway.)

Reduce mixing speed to low and gradually add flour mix just until dough comes together.  Scrape into medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 min-1 hour.

NOW preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
*Baking tip*
Have your oven preheated to the desired temperature for at least ten minutes before you actually start baking.  This insures that your oven is evenly heated.




  

Line baking sheets with parchment.  Shape dough into walnut-sized balls, dip into granulated sugar, and arrange on baking sheet 2 inches a part.

Upon the suggestion of fellow Gingerbuilder, Erin, I rolled the whole ball in the sugar rather than just "dipped".  MORE SUGAR!

*Baking tip*
Get ice cream scoops of all sizes and use them to evenly select your cookie dough amounts.  This makes your cookies more consistent in size for baking times and serving.  If you use a scoop that is smaller or larger than "walnut-size", in this case, be sure to watch your cooking times.




Bake for 10 minutes until light brown and puffed, and the cracks appear moist.


Store in an air tight container.

I always recommend tasting some when they're warm.  Quality control and all :-)



Soft Warm Molasses Cookies by Jennifer Lindner McGlinn   
Makes approx. 35 cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
granulated sugar for dipping

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

Beat shortening and butter with a paddle mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.  Add born sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Pour in molasses and beat until smooth.
Mix in the egg, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, just until the dough comes together.  

Scrape into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill 30 min-1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls, dip in granulated sugar and arrange on baking sheet 2 inches a part.  Bake for 10 minutes until light brown, puffed, and cracks appear moist.  Store up in an airtight container.