I know, I know. I’m sharing a cookie recipe after Christmas, right when the Internet is breathing a collective sigh of relief that cookie season is finally behind us and that it’s time to return to our regularly scheduled diets. I won’t lie, I have a yoga class scheduled this afternoon and I’m listening to non-Christmas music for the first time since Thanksgiving, so I appreciate the break. At the same time, I’m all for anything that will extend the festive Christmas spirit for a few more days and these ginger molasses cookies happen to fit the bill.
There are so many things about the Christmas season that I wish were simply winter traditions. I’m all about the magic of Christmas and I realize it bears some pretty significant religious symbolism for a lot of people, but for me it’s about celebrating the people, places and experiences that you’re grateful for and celebrating the year. I love the music, the decorations, the excuse to bake (a lot) and eat (a lot) with loved ones. Even though the Christmas season is rooted in religion, there is a lot about the Christmas season that has brings out the good in people and I think that’s something to celebrate regardless of what faith, if any, you practice.
No matter what your faith, there is something most of us can agree on: cookies. A few years ago I went on a gingerbread kick and couldn’t get enough of the sweet, spicy and aromatic cookies. I try to make them every year, even if I can’t get it together to bake in time for Christmas (see also: 100 other recipes that will have to masquerade as ‘winter cookies’ this year). These spicy molasses cookies are perfect for Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever it is you’re celebrating this season.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place ½ cup sugar; set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms.
- Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.
- Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes (cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly). Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.