Molasses ginger cookies recipe

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When school begins each September, we start making these rich, spicy cookies to welcome the return of cooler weather. Just before baking them, we roll the dark cookies in turbinado sugar to give them a crunchy caramel crust. The insides remain soft and chewy, just like a ginger cake.

  • Yield: 16 cookies


  • 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup dark molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
How to Make It
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), beat the shortening, butter, and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth, creamy, and light in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the molasses and ginger and mix on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the flour mixture in thirds, mixing just until thoroughly incorporated, no longer than 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to another bowl and finish mixing with a rubber spatula to make sure no bits of flour or butter are hiding on the bottom of the bowl. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (the dough can be refrigerated, wrapped well, for up to 4 days).
  4. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  5. Put the turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Use a large ice cream scoop or a ¼-cup measuring cup to form the cookies, then roll them into balls. Toss and roll the cookies in the turbinado sugar until evenly coated. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between them to allow for spreading. Slightly flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand, and sprinkle them with a little more turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The cookies should be golden brown and slightly puffed up. Let cool completely on wire racks. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

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