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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chewy Molasses Holiday Cookies

I've been testing out new recipes for my annual holiday cookie tin project that takes over my kitchen starting mid-December. In the past I've included treats like truffles, peppermint bark, and Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies, which are my personal favorite holiday cookie. This year, I wanted to try something different and had never made molasses spice cookies before. I wanted a chewy thick cookie, rather than a rock-hard wafer thin guy, so I found this recipe from Cook's Illustrated and went for it. They were delicious! A very strong and rich molasses/brown sugar/spice flavor... they hit the spot. Consider these for your holiday treats!

Also, if you're like me and you love hosting parties and cooking for them, but you sometimes feel uninspired and were born without the decorating gene, check out my friend Alison's TwinStripe Magazine for great unique ideas for celebrating the holidays this year! 

And finally, thanks to Jason Volpe who has been offering me brief and very informal (usually over cocktails) photography lessons. Hoping to continue learning! 

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for dipping cookies
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark molasses

Sift together the flour, baking soda, the spices, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside. 

In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and 1/3 of dark brown sugar. Let beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the molasses and beat until incorporated. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. 

Roll heaping tablespoons into balls and dip them in the extra 1/2 cup granulated sugar and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool for 5 minutes, then do the other batch of cookies the same way- don't put two cookie sheets in the oven at the same time with this recipe. YUM.

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