I love these cookies so much. They’re giant, and chewy, and full of all the spices of the holiday season - but not too spicy, lots of molasses flavor, and accented by a sweet sugar coating that causes delightful crusty crinkles all over. I can’t imagine making these at any other time of year (I think I actually have a mental restriction on the idea) which makes them that much more special. Molasses cookies come but once a year!
chewy molasses cookies
I find this dough easier to roll when it has chilled for 30 minutes or so. If you’re going to do that, don’t bother preheating the oven until closer to bake time.
2 1/4 cup (11.25 oz) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for rolling dough)
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment.
Combine flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the molasses and beat just 30 seconds or so until combined; stop the mixer, scrape the sides and bottom with a spatula, and beat for 15-20 seconds to combine completely. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low just until fully combined. Scrape the sides and bottom and give it ten more seconds to make sure everything is mixed well.
Put 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Form dough into 1.5 inch balls (or 1 inch balls if you’d like them smaller and more of them). It helps to wet your hands with cold water to avoid the dough sticking all over your hands. Roll the dough balls in the sugar, then place on the baking sheet, being sure to give at least 2 inches between.
Bake 11 - 12 minutes (if the dough was cold, it will need a bit longer). Do not overbake these! The edges will look set, the top will have begun to crack, but the center may look puffy and wet. That’s ok! They’ll set up as they cool and that’s how they stay chewy.
Let cool on the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated