I have always loved good molasses cookies. The key word is, of course, good. They are hard to find. These are from epicurious with a few of my own tweaks…you will know them when you see them..
There is something about one of these with a cup of coffee that has me sitting in my aunt’s kitchen watching her get a meal for her farming family. Just about the time these would come out of the oven the milk truck would pull up to get the milk and the driver always had to get a couple of these *for the road*. That’s just how it was back then…These cookies are about red checked fabrics, and aprons, and wonderful smells.
You can sandwich these together with cream cheese in the middle..or ice cream..or pumpkin butter…or…
Cold milk or coffee are essential!
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger ( I use a full teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup grandmas molasses (NOT black strap or barbados!)
granulated sugar for sugaring tops of cookies
Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt in a bowl until combined.
Beat together shortening, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 minutes with a handheld. Add egg and molasses, beating until combined. Reduce speed to low, then mix in flour mixture until combined.
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of dough into a 1-inch ball with wet hands, then dip 1 end of ball in sanding sugar. Make more cookies in same manner, arranging them, sugared side up, 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets.
Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until undersides are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes total, then cool on sheets 1 minute. Transfer to racks to cool completely.