I’ve wanted to try my hand at baking with molasses, the magic ingredient that gives brown sugar and gingersnaps their oh-so distinct spice, for a while and decided that winter would be the best time for any such warmly-spiced baked treats. This recipe followed Brandy’s, with some substitutions, but the results were quite different from what she described: my cookies had all of the crispness of traditional gingersnaps that her “soft and cakey” cookies allegedly lacked.
These might look familiar to the avid Spoon follower – Michigan’s Abigail Wilkins did a similar recipe back in the fall. Her Molasses Cookies are chewy, use brown instead of white sugar to allow for less molasses, and involve a white chocolate dip (successfully made in a double-boiler instead of a microwave). Pick a recipe according to desired consistency, or feel free to experiment by taking different cues from each.
Prep Time: 40 minutes pre-baking, roughly 20 minutes for frosting
Cook Time: max. 40 minutes (if oven can’t accommodate three cookie sheets at once)
Total Time: 100 minutes
Servings: About 3 dozen cookies of 3-4-inch diameters
2 cups sugar
1½ cups canola oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch + 6 tablespoons cold water (substitute: 2 eggs)
½ cup molasses (I used Grandma’s Molasses: Original, unsulphered)
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
12-16 ounces white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix the sugar and oil in a large bowl, then add the cornstarch mixture.
3. Stir in molasses.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Pour this dry mixture into the creamy one, thoroughly mixing until the dry ingredients have been well-incorporated.
5. For cookies with 3-4 inch diameters, as pictured, roll the batter into roughly two-inch balls and press slightly to flatten. Cookie size can vary according to preference, of course. If the batter doesn’t seem to be holding together very well, despite its oiliness, mix in dashes of cold water. Place mounds 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, testing whether the cookies ‘bounce back’ to retain their shape when lightly poked. Allow to set for a couple of minutes before moving onto parchment paper or wire racks to cool.
7. As the cookies cool, cut up the butter and place in a bowl with the white chocolate chips. Melt these in the microwave in 10-second increments, stirring between each, until the mixture resembles frosting.
8. Once the cookies have hardened, use a spatula or spoon to smear thin layers of frosting on all of the cookies. Try one un-frosted as well.