Dear America’s Test Kitchen,
You now have the rights to my soul. Why? Because you have never failed me. Ever. And for that, I thank you and will continue to be faithful.
Patricia (and the slew of people who have benefitted from my ATK recipes).
Forget what you think you know about spiced cookies. These are going to rock your world.
It’s been a really busy few weeks with no signs of slowing down, so I have not been cooking or baking nearly as much as I would like to. That’s not to say I have given up. With the flurry of work I’ve been wading through and the mundane meals I have been making, it became high time I post something a little lively and exciting: enter the most amazing cookies I have ever baked.
Hyperbolic maybe, but saying these are the best cookies ever could very well be true because I have been known to cause cookie massacres with my hands. They always burn. Always. For some reason I can’t screw these up, and the major bonus is how wonderful the medley of warm spices and robust molasses combine to make a perfectly flavoured sweet. At first I was leery of making something so dark in colour and with such a lengthy list of spices, but everything comes together with balanced hints of and molasses and spice.
Soft & Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies
From America’s Test Kitchen All-Time Best Recipes magazine
Serving: approx. 22 cookies
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus ½ cup for dipping (but I get away with using far less than that)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup light or dark molasses (I used blackstrap)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (both my anodized aluminum & non-stick baking sheets were fine and the cookies have never gotten stuck or burned). Place 1/2 cup sugar for dipping in a cake pan or wide, shallow bowl.
- Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.
- Beat butter with brown sugar and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to lowest setting; add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl once. Give dough a final stir by hand to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Dough will be soft.
- Using tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms into a 1¼- to 1½-inch ball; drop ball into cake pan with sugar and repeat to form about 4 balls. Toss balls in sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake one sheet at a time, reversing position of baking sheet from front to back halfway through baking, until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centres are still soft (cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes. Do not overbake.
- Cool the cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack; cool cookies to room temperature and serve.
- When completely cool, return rack with cookies to cooled parchment-lined baking sheets. These cookies store well and can be kept for up to one week in an airtight container, or five days in a Ziploc bag.