This was my Grandmother’s recipe. I don’t recall her ever making these, to be honest, but by the time I came along she’d already raised six kids, and I think she’d happily put her baking days behind her.
Molasses cookies are comfortingly simple, and they travel well—perfect for sending in a care package, if you are into that sort of thing. These have just the right amount of spice to compliment, not dominate, the molasses.
3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup brown sugar, packed 1 large egg 1/4 cup molasses 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat a minute or so (the mixture may appear a bit curdled—that’s okay). Stir in the flour mixture, one half at a time, until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill the dough until it firms up, several hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon baking mats. Roll the dough into balls a little over an inch in diameter, about the size of large walnuts, and dip them in the granulated sugar. Place about 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake 8 top 10 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the sheets for a minute or two, then transfer to wire racks with a spatula and allow to cool completely. Makes 3 to 4 dozen. *Note:* For cookies with attractively cracked tops, bake only one sheet at a time. If you don’t have the patience for that, be sure to rotate the sheets front to back and top to bottom midway through baking.