Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category
The smell of ginger molasses cookies reminds me of Autumn – it’s spicy and warm and a comforting food to eat. I used to devour these cookies at Starbucks, but as often is the case with baked goods, homemade ones are even better! There are a few different variations on how to bake them, and I’ll show you a few ways to make them a little bit more ‘designer’ and original – it’s always fun to put your special touch on baked goods, that’s how to make something truly your own!
The cookie is good no matter what you use to make it – if you have the ‘wrong’ kind of sugar (I had fine granulated sugar instead of the necessary coarse/medium granulated) it’s honestly not a big deal. Just use what you have! Make sure to preheat your oven to 190°C / 375°F and prepare your baking sheets – I simply use parchment paper, you can butter it up – do what you wish!
First, grab a medium bowl and either sift or whisk together the dry ingredients. Your goal here is to make sure everything is mixed together thoroughly and that there are no clumpy ingredients.
Place the room temperature butter and dark brown sugar in a large bowl and cream together using a hand-mixer, stand-mixer, your hands – or even in a food processor! I only had golden yellow sugar, and I find it changes the taste ONLY subtly, so don’t be worried if you don’t have dark brown sugar.
Once it’s creamed, which usually takes only a couple of minutes, add in the egg and the molasses. The mixture might look curdled (it’s only ever happened to me once), just beat on high and it’ll come back together again.
At this point your batter should look like this! And the smell of molasses will penetrate through the air and you will die! It smells so good! Now, grab your bowl with dry ingredients, and add in a third of the mixture. Mix together on low speed until just combined, and then slowly add more of the flour mixture. The batter will be stiff!
Designers! This is where you can get creative! Add in finely chopped ginger, crystallized ginger, chunks of white chocolate or macadamia nuts – get creative here and try different combinations.
At this point I put the batter in the fridge to allow it to chill – I find it’s easier to handle when slightly cooler. It also gives me time to set up my sugar station! I put down a large sheet of parchment paper, and have two bowls – one with sugar, one with a bit of water – along with the prepared baking sheet.
Grab a scoop of the batter, make a ball and roll it around in the sugar!
As you can see above, I only had fine granulated sugar – the results are no different if you use the coarse / medium granulated sugar, they are just more crunchy and even yummier that way! But just use what you have, it tastes almost the same!
Drop the balls on the cookie sheet, I baked six at a time, leaving adequate room to allow the cookies to spread – and they will spread! Just before putting them in the oven, dip two of your fingers in the water and press down on the cookies, this dampens them and helps them spread out.
I bake them for exactly 12 minutes – this ensures a still-chewy center which is what this cookie is famous for! If you like them a bit more ‘well done’, leave them in for up to 15 minutes.
Leave them to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, then allow them to cool further on a cooking rack – these taste so good warm, I can hardly resist taking a bit out of them right away.
This recipe usually makes 18 cookies for me, if you make them even larger you would get about 12. If you have company coming, leave them out – otherwise freeze them in between layers of parchment or wax paper (so they don’t stick together!). That way you can just pull one out as dessert every now and again!
Ginger Molasses Cookies
About 12 – 18 cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 extra-large egg
- 1/4 cup regular unsulphured molasses
- Coarse or Medium Granulated sugar (for coating cookie dough before baking)
- 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
- 1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts
- Demerara-style sugar (in place of regular granulated or mixed with)
1 Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F. Prepare your baking sheet(s).
2 Sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3 Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Lower to medium speed, beat in the egg and molasses, then increase speed to high and beat about 1 minute longer, until mixture no longer looks curdled.
4 Mix in the flour mixture on low speed. The batter will be rather stiff. Designers: Add in your crystallized ginger, white chocolate or macadamia nuts if using and mix with a wooden spoon. Place batter in fridge and allow to cool for 15 – 20 minutes.
5 Place some granulated sugar or specialty sugar in a bowl, and keep a seperate bowl with water handy. Start making balls of the cookie dough - Transfer dough to your hands and roll each portion into a rough ball, then roll each ball into the sugar. Place six sugared balls on each baking sheet, spacing them evenly, because they will spread during baking.
5 Dampen your fingers with water and press down lightly on each cookie to flatten it a little and dampen the top. Refrigerate one filled baking sheet while the other bakes.
6 Bake for 12 minutes for a delicious and chewy center, for a completely firm cookie bake up to 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then eat. If you want to freeze them, place wax or parchment paper in between cookies so they don’t stick together.
This is my go-to chocolate chip recipe, I’ve had it for years and I had written it down from a magazine years ago. Since then it’s been rewritten, changed a little bit and it’s also very versatile. You can substitute white sugar for the brown sugar, omit the cocoa completely or add more, and of course the chocolate chips can be switched up for white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, M&M’s, or whatever else you have on hand. I’ve even made them with chunks of semi-sweet chocolate before.
Want to know a secret? I used to SUCK at making these. I sucked at making ALL cookies. Why? Because I was always worried about how DONE they were. I would feel them at the time they were supposed to come out, and I’d be afraid that they were too soft or too light coloured, and then I’d end up burning them. Even Pillsbury dough cookies. Ask my sister. We screwed up SO many cookies back in the day.
And then I realised that the trick isn’t in checking ‘how done’ the cookies are, it’s just trusting your instincts, and pulling it out at the time and not feeling them or looking at them until they’ve cooled down. Otherwise you’re just asking for disaster. Follow the times and you’ll be fine!
Those are the lovely and scrumptious ingredients! I pre-heated the oven to 190°C / 375°F and prepped my baking sheet – which to me means placing a sheet of parchment paper on it and being done with it. To some it might mean buttering up a baking sheet or spraying it with baking spray – whatever floats your boat!
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix it with a whisk. Sometimes, when I’m feeling like a perfectionista, I sift the dry ingredients first, but whisking usually does the trick in order to remove any clumps found in the flour or the cocoa.
In a seperate and larger bowl, place the room temperature butter and brown sugar together. Forgot to take out the butter? Zap it in the microwave for 5 seconds at a time until it’s soft but not melted. You want it to have an easily spread consistency, like room temperature. 5 Second at a TIME. That’s it. Keep checking it.
I used a hand-held mixer, you can use a stand mixer or even do it all by hand! Just make sure it is a smooth consistency, creamy with no chunks of butter or sugar.
Add the egg and the vanilla, and then mix until there’s no trace of egg left and it looks like one delicious, creamy mixture. Then, add the flour mixture a third at a time, adding more when it’s just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary, then look at the yummy chocolatey cookie dough goodness!
Eat it like that… or add the chocolate chips in and mix it all with a wooden spoon!
Now, once it’s all mixed together, you can go ahead with baking it…. OR you can put it in the fridge and let the batter cool for a bit. I usually do this because I find my cookies bake a little better and the batter is easier to handle when it’s cooler. It also gives me time to run to the grocery store and pick up the parchment paper I just ran out of…
Scoop balls of the dough out of the bowl using a tablespoon, then roll it up like a ball, press it down into the baking sheet. The first batch (in the picture) I didn’t press it down enough, which resulted in thicker cookies. I find this batter doesn’t expand too much, so if you prefer a thinner cookie, press it down more!
I bake mine exactly for 12 minutes – this gives me the chewy consistency that I LOVE! I love a soft cookie! If you prefer a bit more crispy, bake up to 15 minutes. And voila!
Let them cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, and then place them on a cooling rack for as long as you can resist them!
Today I came out with 18 cookies, but usually I make smaller cookies and come out with about 24 or so – Princess prefers smaller cookies! I like mine bigger! I leave a few of these cookies out and then freeze the rest – it’s the only way I won’t eat them all!
Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
16 – 24 cookies
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
1 Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F. Prepare baking sheet.
2 In a bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
3 In a seperate and larger bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 2 – 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
4 Add the flour 1/3 at a time, beating until just combined each time. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5 Using a tablespoon, scoop out a ball of the dough, shaping it in your hand and dropping it on the baking sheet. Press down to flatten the ball and leave some room between the cookies to allow for expansion.
6 Bake cookies for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on how chewy or crunchy you prefer them. Cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet and then place on cooling rack. Eat!