Dorie Greenspace is my baking goddess. I trust all of her baking recipes as they are always right on, plus they taste amazing. This recipe for sugar topped molasses spice cookies has been one of my go-to holiday cookie recipes since her book Baking From My Home to Yours came out. That my friends was in 2006, and yes I have been making them for that many years.
When we started our video production company many years ago we started the tradition of giving our top clients home-baked clients every holiday season. The past two weeks I have made dozens of these little spicy cookies which I hear from my clients they LOVE. I also keep an extra batch in the refrigerator for those last-minute bake sessions such was when Lenny says we should give so and so some cookies!
The only changes I have made to this recipe is that I add a little more allspice as well as black pepper; we like them spicy. I also have used light as well as dark brown sugar, it kind of depends on what I have on hand. I also like to add edible sparkles in with the sugar for dusting.
Make a batch and keep on hand the next few days before it gets even crazier. The dough lasts up to four days in the refrigerator so you can bake a couple or even a dozen at the last minute. Warm cookies are the best holiday treat!
Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies
** recipe posted with permission from Dorie Greenspan
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar – packed (sometimes I use dark if that is all I have)
- 1/2 cup molasses – not blackstrap
- 1 large egg
- about 1/2 cup coarse sugar for rolling – I had some sparkly sprinkles too
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Using a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for 2 minutes or so to blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour and spices disappear. If flour remains on the bottom of the bowl, to avoid overbeating the dough, mix in the last of the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. The dough will be smooth and very soft.
- Divide the dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Put the sugar and sprinkles if using in a small bowl.
- Working with one packet of dough either evenly divides into 12 pieces or do as I do and make smaller cookies but rolling about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into a small ball.
- Dip into the sugar, place on a baking sheet, and using the palm of your hand lightly press down.
- Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 – 14 minutes – depends on the size of the ball of cookie dough.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then remove with a spatula and place on a rack to cool.