Thursday, December 16, 2010
I came across this recipe while looking through my many cookie books a few weeks ago and decided to use it against other recipes I'd found for a few reasons: It only called for 1 stick of butter and the dough could be rolled out immediately after being made. That's not to say you can't refrigerate or freeze it - I did this with the half I didn't roll out straight after making it and everything turned out great. But I think one of the reasons people hesitate to make cut-out cookies in general is because even though refrigerating the dough takes no effort from you whatsoever, it means waiting or preparing ahead of time - and time is something people don't have a lot of, especially around the holidays.
I found this recipe in Good Housekeeping Favorite Recipes Cookie book, but the link to the recipe I used is listed here. I increased the spices as usual in my adaptation but kept everything else the same and they taste wonderful. You can bake them for a shorter amount of time if you want a softer cookie, or until they get slightly brown around the edges for a crispy cookie.
Adapted from Good Housekeeping
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light molasses
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar, molasses, spices and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat when it boils and stir in the baking soda - it will bubble up and lighten in color, then stir in the butter and the egg. Add the flour and mix until a dough forms.
At this point you can go ahead and roll out your cookies right away and bake in a 325 degree oven or you can wrap the dough in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze it. I do suggest taking the dough out at least an hour before you want to cut out cookies if you chill the dough, it is quite crumbly when cold.
You can sprinkle these with sugar or nonpareils before baking or use royal icing or a glaze afterward. Have fun! :)