Sweet Tooth: Ginger Molasses Cookies— A Step By Step Guide, Part II

Quick recap: I have adapted The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Ultimate Ginger Cookies, tweaking some of the spices, measurements and the baking time. When last we met, our Ginger Molasses cookie dough had been wrapped in wax paper and put in the refigerator over night.

Now it’s time to bake!

First, grab two cookie sheets, and line them with parchment paper.  If you don’t have parchment paper, grease the cookie sheets.  Put about 1/3 cup sugar (granulated or the fancy turbinado stuff is great here, but you don’t want to use brown sugar) into a shallow bowl.  Then grab a spoon, or ideally an ice cream scoop.

Next, set the oven rack to the middle of your oven, and set the temperature to 350(F).  Get the dough out of the fridge, and set up a little assembly line—dough and ice cream scoop, then the bowl of sugar, then the cookie sheets.

Scoop off about a tablespoon size portion of the dough and roll into a ball in your hands. The ball should be about 1 inch in diameter. 

Next, roll the ball in the sugar, covering almost completely.  If you see any bald spots, don’t worry.

Once the dough ball has been rolled in the sugar, place it on the cookie sheet and gently press down on the top, so you have a somewhat flattened, chubby disc shape (I know that doesn’t sound very sexy, but just go with me here). Ultimately you’ll end up with about 45 cookies.

Repeat, and make sure each cookie stands at least 1″ apart from the next.  I was able t fit 15 cookies onto a sheet.  A note: The dough will become stickier the longer it’s out of the fridge, so you’ll want to work quickly.  If the dough is becoming too sticky for you to work with, wrap it up and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, then continue working.

Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, switching the position of the cookie sheet(s) midway through to ensure even baking.  The cookies will crack a bit on top, and the consistency will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Let’s pause for a moment and do some deep breathing.  Smell that aroma?  Mmmm.

Voi-la! Ginger Molasses Cookies.

Okay, so—you’ll want to leave the cookies on the sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely.  You can store them between sheets of wax paper or paper towels in an air-tight container, if they even make it that far.

Epilogue:  A few notes about my recipe versus Ina Garten’s:

  1. My recipe yielded 46 cookies, each about 1.5” to 2” in diameter, because I made them much smaller than Ina’s recipe calls for.  Forty-six cookies yield a Points Plus value of 2 points per cookie. Not bad!
  2. Garten’s recipe calls for ¼ cup vegetable oil.  I found that my Kitchen-Aid mixer (which is stronger than a bull on steroids) started having a rough time with the dough as I was adding the flour mixture – it was just too dry.  So, I added about 2 tbsp of 2% milk, and that added just enough moisture to keep the dough moving. Next time I make these cookies, I’m going to add a tablespoon of oil and cut the milk entirely, and see how that works.
  3. I found 13 minutes was too short a cooking time. In 15 minutes, my cookies were crisp around the edges and nice & soft in the middle.  Perfection!
  4. Also, I found that after 13 minutes, my cookies didn’t crack on top.  That’s okay – if you keep them in too long they’ll burn, so if you don’t see cracking, don’t panic.

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