This is the kind of really important life lesson you learn in the kitchen.
So, anywhoo. Holiday baking. It's officially okay to listen to Christmas music 24/7, put up decorations, and eat a bunch of warm, homey, spiced sweet things.
Like these molasses cookies!
These cookies are elegant. Since they're rolled into balls, you can be as perfectionist as you want.
But they're also homey and comforting. And the sticky dough is like play-doh.
Mmmmmm. Play-doh. I love that smell...
2 1/4 cups (11.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) vegetable shortening
1/2 stick (1/4 cup, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup (7 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses (6 ounces)
About 1/3 cup sanding sugar* for tops of cookies
*kind of like sprinkles. You could find them at a well stocked grocery store in the baking aisle. I ran out of the white kind (which is classy), so some of them have colored sugar and some have none at all. It would probably work with granulated sugar too, the way snickerdoodles have granulated sugar on the outside.
1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and salt.
spice mountain! That would be some crazy skiing.
if I just so happened to be a centimeter tall.
2. Beat (the heck out of) the shortening, butter, and brown sugar.
When they say "beat until light and fluffy," it really does get light and fluffy. It just takes a while.
3. Add the egg and molasses (I did a double batch, that's why there are two eggs) and beat
4. Slowly add the flour. Now is when it's really important to scrape the sides of the bowl. Me, I ended up with a shortening-y layer of not mixed dough on all the edges of my mixing bowl. So some of the cookies looked a little funky.
Those are the ones my family gets to eat warm off the cookie sheet.
Messing up isn't bad at all! When life hands you lemons, feed weirdly shaped cookies to your family. They'll love you anyways.
5. Chill the dough (at least an hour). Yes, this part sucks. You could probably skip it, especially if you started with no fully softened butter/room temperature eggs, because they'd make the dough colder. Since it's so sticky though, it helps to chill it.
6. Preheat oven to 375F or 350F convection.
7. Roll balls of dough (it honestly doesn't matter how big. I've made them with rounded tablespoons, these are rounded teaspoons. Do what you like). Dip one side of each ball of dough into the sugar, and place sugar side up on the sheet.
8. Bake 10-12 minutes, switching racks halfway through, until darker than they started. I was going to say golden brown, but the dough is already brown, so...
go for 10 minutes and see how they're doing.
9. Cool on the sheets a couple of minutes, then finish cooling on wire racks
10. Feed your family warm weird cookies off the baking sheets.
Recipe from Epicurious.