Do you ever have idea that a recipe should produce a certain kind of taste and texture? I do. I read recipes thinking that things will turn out the way I want them to, but I’m sometimes disappointed which then means I have to mess with the recipe to get it the way I want it.
With regard to my perfect picture of a spice cookie, I wanted a chewy in middle, crackly on the outside, gingery spicy-almost-savory cookie that would store nicely in a cookie jar. This cookie needed to pack a lot of flavor in a little package.
The recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan is almost perfect. I made a few minor adjustments though. I cannot help myself.
Crackly Spice Cookies
- 2-1/3 C all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground all spice
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper (freshly ground is best)
- 1-1/2 sticks (12 Tablespoons) butter (I used salted because that’s what I have around) at room temperature
- 1 Cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 Cup molasses (not Blackstrap)
- 1 large egg
- Approx 1/2 C Turbinado or coarse sugar crystals for rolling
What to do:
Cream the butter and sugar together. I use the mixer with the paddle attachment. Add in the molasses and the egg and mix again until combined. Add the dry ingredients – sieve them if there are lumps in any of them) and mix on low speed. (You’ll have some cleaning to do if you ramp the mixer to high before the dry stuff is incorporated but you’ll never do that again – don’t ask why). You’ll have a smooth dry soft dough. Divide the dough into two parts and wrap in flat disks to chill for about 1 hour in the refrigerator or less in the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees when you are ready to bake.
Put the coarse sugar in a bowl.
Divide the dough and roll into 1″ diameter balls. Roll the balls in the sugar.
Place them on a Silpat lined or parchment lined cookie sheet at least 3 inches apart unless you don’t care if they spread into each other. Just so you know – Dorie Greenspan makes this recipe into approximately 24 cookies, whereas I make double that amount at least with the 1″ balls. I like my cookies smaller and with more surface area. And I feel piggy eating a huge cookie but I have no problem eating 4 small ones. Don’t ask.
Bake the cookies about 12 minutes. Do not over bake if you want a chewy in the middle cookie! The tops will feel set to the touch and look crackly. If the cookies have grown into each other use your spatula to separate them.
The cookies will be bendy while warm. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool. They’ll crisp up on the edges and stay chewy in the middle if you have not over baked them. If you over bake, they’ll be ginger snaps which are good also, but not what I was after. I’d probably eat them anyway.