Thursday, January 24, 2008

Molasses Spice Cookies

America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

1/2c plus 1/3 c granulated sugar
2-1/4 c all purpose flour
1t baking soda
1-1/2 t cinnamon
1-1/2t ginger
1/2 cloves
1/4t allspice
1/4t pepper
1/4t salt
12 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3c packed dark brown sugar
1t vanilla extract
1/2 c molasses

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1/2 c of the sugar in a shallow dish for coating and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, pepper, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3c white sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in the molasses until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
3. Reduce the speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is combined.
4. Using wet hands, roll 2 tablespoons of dough at a time into balls, then roll in the sugar to coat and lay on two parchment sheet lined baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and the tops are cracked bu the centers are still soft and underdone (peek through the cracks to check the centers), 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking.
5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve arm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

I was bored tonight so thought I'd take a whirl at baking some cookies. I took the cook's route and eyeballed my spices (except for salt; I think for some reason it's important to measure the salt when baking). I also don't have any parchment paper and so turned to the internet. My brain said "There has got to be a way that people made cookies before Parchment paper was invented. Sure enough, I found a recommendation to spray the cookie sheet, so that's what I did. Worked like a charm.

There's a picture of this cookie in the cookbook, and, well, it looks pretty much nothing like what came out of my oven. This cookie has some height and nice little cracks throughout. Mine are flat and for some reason don't have the cracks either. I turned to my fantastic ATK Cookbook and if I'm understanding correctly, I probably overcreamed the butter. I'm not sure how that worked, since I did it for exactly 3 minutes, but perhaps my mixer speed was too high.

Despite the unprettiness of my cookies, they are quite tasty. I like the nice kick of cloves that I got when I bit in.

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