When I think about warm, spice-laden molasses cookies, I usually think of chilly fall weather, mugs of hot apple cider and the smell of pumpkin. Perhaps it’s because our area has been stuck in a perpetual winter rut, but I have had an unseasonal craving for these cookies over the last few weeks. I finally decided to give in and bake up a batch. After all, I’ve always believer that there is never a bad time for a cookie… no matter what that cookie is! My craving was more than satisfied with these wonderfully chewy cookies – they’re soft, crackled on top and full of spice.
I’ve seen some molasses cookies that require chilling the dough before baking, but I was drawn to this one because you could quickly mix up the dough and then bake them right away. No waiting around means fresh-baked cookies in less than an hour!
I eat ice cream in December and spice cookies in April; my taste buds have no concept of season and I’m happy to appease their varying cravings as they pop up. What are some of your “unseasonal” cravings?
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, increase the speed to medium and beat until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Again reduce the speed to medium-low and add the molasses, beating until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to give it a final few mixes to ensure no flour remains.
Place the sugar for rolling in a small bowl. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop the dough and roll into a smooth ball, then toss in the sugar to coat and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are browned, still puffy and the edges have begun to set but the centers are still soft, about 11 minutes. Be sure not to overbake the cookies.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.