Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies
Love these cookies. Not only do they taste wonderful, but they’ll make your whole house smell like autumn. I like to make a double-batch of dough, pre-shape them all, and then freeze for baking-on-demand. I mean, really, why have a stale cookie when you can have a warm-from-the-oven treat in less than 15 minutes?
If you’ve never frozen cookie dough before, it is the best time-saver EVER…and in case you’re wondering, I wouldn’t do it unless the cookies turned out just as well. I first read about freezing cookie dough in Cooks Illustrated and if they give it their stamp of approval, I’m pretty much sold. Not only do I freeze cookie dough to keep the cookie jar properly stocked, but this trick has totally revolutionized the way I do holiday cookies. About a month before Christmas, I start making and freezing a batch or two a week until soon I’ve amassed a glorious freezer full of holiday cookie dough, ready to be popped in a hot oven.
Freezing cookie dough is a snap. First choose how you’ll freeze the dough. For drop or shaped cookies, prep them as you would for baking, place them all on a cookie sheet, and then cover and freeze. The only step I skip is rolling them in sugar and such–I wait to do that until just before baking. Once frozen, the cookie dough balls can be removed from the sheet and stored in a large zip-lock. When you’re ready for a cookie, they can be baked straight from the freezer–just add about a minute to your baking time. If you’re making a dough for cut-out cookies, it’s even easier. Just divide the dough into a couple hunks, flatten into rounds, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and store in large zip-locks. Once you’re ready to bake, remove your large rounds a day before you want to bake and thaw in the fridge. The next day, roll out between sheets of waxed paper (another great trick), cut, and bake! Whichever type of cookie dough you’re freezing, just be sure to mark the bag with what kind of cookie you’ve got in there, plus the cooking temperature and time. No need to be wondering whether you’re looking at chocolate chip cookie dough or Grandma’s famous meatballs…
Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies
About 2 ½ dozen cookies
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
¼ cup Crisco
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for rolling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large bowl, if using hand-held beaters), cream the butter and Crisco together along with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat for another minute. Continue to beat on low speed whilst slowly adding the water and molasses. Once incorporated, slowly mix in your dry ingredients until combined.
Using two spoons or a cookie scoop (great gadget to have!), make about 30 walnut-sized spoonfuls of dough and then shape into balls with your hands. Roll them in sugar and place on your cookie sheets. (I can usually get 15 cookies per cookie sheet.) Flatten each ball slightly with your fingers and then bake in your preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. Enjoy right away or store them in an airtight container for later snacking! They stay soft for days.
Nutrition information per serving (1 cookie): 115 calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 16 g carbohydrate, < 1 g fiber, 1 g protein