by Julie Snyder
Bring in the holidays with a cookie that reminds you of ginger bread houses, but melts in your mouth like sugar cookies.
These little nuggets offer the comfort of sweet, mellow molasses combined with the spicy aroma of ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
Could a holiday cookie be better? We don't think so. In fact, these have so much going for them that your family will ask for them all year long. They're so simple to make that you won't even mind.
Molasses sugar cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 90 minutes | Yield: 6 dozen cookies
• 1 1/2 cups butter
• 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
• 1/2 cup molasses
• 2 eggs
• 4 cups flour
• 4 teaspoons baking soda
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cloves
• up to 1 teaspoon salt, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Pour the butter into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, the molasses and eggs. Beat until fluffy.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Add to the butter mixture. Stir well. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the remaining sugar. Place on a cookie sheet, flattening enough that they don't roll around. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Cool for two minutes on the sheet and move to a rack.
If you like a chewy cookie, stick to the 10-minute cooking time. They may look under-cooked when you take them out, but will firm up on the rack. If you prefer crispy, flatten them a bit more before baking and cook the full 12 minutes. They go from chewy to crispy quickly, so watch the time!
These cookies keep very well. I make them at the beginning of the holiday season and they keep all the way to New Year's -- if I make enough and hide them fairly well...
A friend colors her rolling sugar red for the holidays. Have you experimented with different types of sugar for the outside? Which do you find works best?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.