I love to bake, but had sworn off making cookies. My cookies taste delicious, but they always come out flat and thin, rather than chewy and thick. I’ve experimented with different temperatures and ingredients with little success.
However, I was asked to bring a dessert to a party and knew I couldn’t juggle a cake or cupcakes with the other items I was bringing. I figured I’d give a new cookie recipe a try and see if I couldn’t improve on my normal pancake-shaped cookies.
I turned to Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Cambridge and Boston, MA. The baked goods she sells are incredible, so I thought cribbing one of her recipes might be a good idea. The ginger molasses cookies seemed holiday-appropriate, and not too tough to make.
I did, however, overlook one critical rule. I think one of the reasons I love to bake is that I don’t have a strong sweet tooth myself, so I can enjoy the process without worrying about eating too much after. Unfortunately, I absolutely love gingerbread or anything related to it. Perhaps making a double batch of ginger molasses cookies wasn’t the healthiest way to kick off the holidays.
Joanne Chang’s Ginger Molasses Cookies from Flour
Yields 16 cookies (I got 24 from a double batch)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsulphured dark molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- Small bowl of granulated sugar for coating
Use a stand or handheld mixer to mix butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg on low speed for about 20 seconds, until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves until well mixed [Amy’s note: I like to use a plastic mixing pitcher for this, since it makes adding the dry ingredients to the wet easier]. Add flour mixture to the butter sugar mixture and stir just until ingredients are completely incorporated and evenly mixed [Amy’s note: I did this by hand].
- Put raw dough in airtight container and chill for at least 3-4 hours, or better yet, overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place wire rack in center of oven.
- Scoop ¼ cup balls of the dough and roll it in the bowl of granulated sugar. Coat completely. Place coated balls on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until cookies are crackly on top and just barely firm. Let cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.
I measured out the first two or three cookies with a quarter cup measuring cup, then used a spoon to scoop out balls of dough roughly that size. The dough got quite firm when refrigerated so scooping was easier with a spoon.
- Even though the recipe says it makes 16 cookies and I did measure the dough, I only got 24 from a double recipe. Yes, I did eat some of the raw dough, but no way was it 8 cookies’ worth. Just be prepared to have fewer cookies than you think.
- The cookies are big, so you could probably use less dough and keep an eye on the baking in case they require less time in order to get smaller ones.
- I actually thought these cookies were most delicious on day 3. The flavors just melded more and more over time.
- I think the secret to getting the right fat, chewy, perfect texture was refrigerating the dough. My impatient self hates this. My gluttonous self loves it because now I can make cookies!