This is my favorite cookie this year. They are easy enough to make to qualify as something to make for cookie swaps, especially if you’ve, um, waited too long to make them to allow a roll of dough chill long enough to do slice and bake varieties. I modified this recipe ever so slightly from the Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies at MarthaStewart.com.
I used sanding sugar to coat the balls of dough because it adds a nice bit of crunch. I didn’t have white sanding sugar in the house so I used demerara sugar, which is a light brown sugar. I suspect a white sanding sugar would be prettier, but I do like the extra molasses boost the demerara gives.
Here are some balls of dough before being plunked down on a baking sheet:
Sparkling Chewy Molasses Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, or 10 ounces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses, blackstrap works well here
- about 1/2 cup chunky sanding sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the egg, and then the molasses until just combined. Put mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture just until dough forms.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll into a ball between your palms, then roll in sanding sugar to cover all sides.
- Place on cookie sheets spaced three inches apart (cookies will spread while baking).
- Bake one sheet at a time until edges of cookies are just firming up, 10 to 15 minutes. I found 11 minutes to be perfect in my oven which runs slightly too hot no matter what you do.
- update: If you freeze the balls you can bake them by taking them out of the freezer and putting them right in the oven. It’ll take about 15 minutes at 350. The cookies will spread a little less, and crack a bit.
- Allow to cool on baking sheet for a moment then transfer cookies to racks to cool down.
- Will keep for four days in an airtight container.
Makes three dozen cookies, more or less.