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Christmas Cookies

October 28, 2010

Having just gone on and on about aprons and casseroles, I’m going to keep this short, but I did want to post about cookies too.  For those of you in the area, on December 4 at 10:30, we’re hosting our annual cookie swap at the D’ville library.  You should sign up and come!  In preparation, I decided to test a recipe this morning.   Upon tasting it, my first reaction was, “It’s sweet.”  Alex promptly responded, “It’s a cookie.  It’s supposed to be sweet.”  That being said, these cookies are sweet. . . ha.  They are also totally yummy.  Here’s another favorite from America’s Test kitchen. 

Molasses Spice Cookies

1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. light or dark molasses ( I used dark)

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375°.  Spread 1/2 c. of the sugar into a shallow dish for rolling.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, pepper and salt together. 

It should smell like Christmas already.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 c. of granulated sugar together with an electric mixer (or with a wire whisk if you don’t feel like hauling out the mixer) on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.  Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds.  Beat in the molasses until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

Reduce the mixture speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds (the dough will be soft).  Working with 2 T. (I preferred less.) of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls with wet hands, then roll in the sugar to coat.  Lay the balls on the baking sheets, spaced about two inches apart.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 10 – 12 minutes, rotating each baking sheet halfway through baking.  (The cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.)  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

These are so easy, and so delicious, and I happened to have all of the ingredients at home already.  What a bonus.  Home baked cookies on a Thursday morning with little to no fuss. . . and last night’s casserole sitting in the fridge. . . I shouldn’t have to cook again for another month or so!  Now, go out and find your favorite cookie recipe and share here (or come to the cookie swap and share there).  Cookie sharing is always more fun in real life. . . Don’t you want to taste these cookies in person???

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