Gingerbread Cookies

At the risk of sounding Grinch-like here: gingerbread cookies, that super seasonal, quintessential Christmas classic, are just not my thing. They don't quite make the cut for me, cookie-wise; while I like my cookies soft and chewy, gingerbread cookies often tiptoe across the line between crunchy to downright hard-to-bite in to. If you're making them from scratch, the dough has to be chilled, rolled out, and cut out before baking, a process you might not have time for in the hectic days leading up to the 25th. And I know, I know -- your average gingerbread man/woman is pretty adorable, with his/her gum drop buttons and iced-on smile, but still begs the question: is the additional candy and frosting really bringing anything to the table, flavor-wise?! Long story short, I give the classic gingerbread cookie a solid A for effort, but give me a candy cane or a sugar cookie any day. 

But no so fast! Today's recipe is a game changer, one that fixes all the gingerbread cookie woes I've just whined about (you were a good listener). These, ladies and gentlemen, are gingerbread cookies that get it right, cookies that are streamlined without losing any of their gingery goodness. My favorite gingerbread cookies are soft and chewy, reminiscent of  the snickerdoodle, its cinnamon-y cousin; they lose the classic gingerbread man shape, and thus any rolling or cutting, instead going directly from the bowl to the baking sheet; candy decorations and icing are swapped for a dusting of sugar, which makes the cookies sparkly and festive with half the work; and the flavor! We've got cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon plus the usual ginger, making for a spicy, cozy cookie, gingerbread cookie 2.0, cookies to be part of your Christmas cookie exchange, or given as an edible gift, or baked up to make your house smell awesome, then eaten alongside a mug of hot chocolate. The choice is yours. 

A couple of notes: If you are in Rome and looking for molasses, you can find it at most Castroni stores. Two of my taste testers commented that these were on the sweet side for them, so if you prefer your desserts to be on the less sweet side, feel free to reduce the sugar a bit (I'd say by 1/4 of a cup or so -- taste the batter and decide). Feel free to up the quantity of spices here too -- I added a bit of extra ginger and cinnamon. 

Looking for other gingerbread-y recipes? I've got this classic Gingerbread and these Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Bars. Looking for other Christmas appropriate bars or cookies? I've got these Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies, these Magical, 5 ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies, these Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroonsthese Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, this Shortbread, these Chocolate Chip Cookies, and these Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies. Not in to cookies? I've also got this Chocolate, Pistachio, and Cranberry Fudge, and this Salame di cioccolato, and if we're being honest I wouldn't mind a box of these Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats either. 


1/2 cup (112 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (65 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (85 grams) brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (70 grams) molasses
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Extra sugar, for rolling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius).In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. 

Beat in the egg, vanilla and molasses and whip 1-2 minutes or until it turns a light brown color. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, spices, and baking soda and set aside.
Stir the dry ingredients into your molasses/sugar/egg mixture and mix until dry ingredients are just combined. Fill a shallow dish with a light layer of sugar. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and coat in the sugar. Place on silicone baking mat, lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until outside looks cooked but inside is still soft and gooey. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Makes 30-35 cookies.

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